OVC cancels all intercollegiate sports amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Jacksonville State women's basketball team faced off with Morehead State in the first round action of the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)The Jacksonville State women's basketball team faced off with Morehead State in the first round action of the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Josie Howell, Sports Editor

On March 16, 2020, the Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents announced that all intercollegiate sports will be cancelled effective immediately until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The OVC has also announced that all team practices will be suspended until April 3, 2020. The OVC board will then reevaluate the COVID-19 situation to determine whether or not the suspension should continue or not. However, all student athletes will still be allowed to utilize training rooms for strength and conditioning.

The OVC emphasized that the main priority of the OVC is to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, including staff, fans and student-athletes. They will continue to monitor all relevant information on COVID-19 on a daily basis.

After the OVC released their official statement, OVC commissioner Beth DeBauche came out with a statement of her own for athletes and fans.

“As we issued the official release on Monday that the Ohio Valley Conference was cancelling all intercollegiate competitions, including OVC Championships, through the end of the 2019-20 academic year due to the COVID-19 public health threat,” said DeBauche. “I was overwhelmed by the sense of loss for our student-athletes who are not going to be able to experience the sense of joy and accomplishment by competing in the OVC this spring.”

“I know whether you are a student-athlete, coach or an administrator we all share a collective sense of loss right now, but we must take solace in the fact our OVC community did exactly what we needed to do to help protect the health and safety of our student-athletes and the broader communities in which our institutions play such a large role,” said DeBauche

As for JSU specifically, distance learning has been implemented for all classes as of Friday, March 14 after a student was placed under investigation for COVID-19. While the student eventually tested negative for the virus, JSU has continued to take precautions to prevent anyone from contracting the virus.

JSU has continued to keep faculty and students updated on how they have been dealing with the situation. JSU Acting President Don Killingsworth has given his most recent update as of March 17, 2020.

“Most JSU offices are now closed until after Spring Break, but staff is still monitoring voicemail,” said Killingsworth.” If you need to reach someone, please leave a message. The department will return your call as soon as possible. Search the directory online for contact info.”

“The Technology Support Center will be providing technology and user account support via email on Thursday and Friday, March 19-20,” said Killingsworth. “Please contact the TSC by emailing techcenter@jsu.edu. Staff will review the requests and respond accordingly.”

Those who do not already receive news and updates from JSU can send an email to jsunews@jsu.edu to receive forthcoming updates regarding COVID-19.

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