The spread of the coronavirus has put the whole sports world on hold. Professional and collegiate teams across the United States and across the world have either postponed or outright canceled sporting events and seasons.
On Thursday, the NCAA canceled all spring and winter championships. On Friday, the SEC announced that all recruiting visits both on and off campus were being postponed until April 15th. Following that announcement, the SEC also decided to suspend all team activities in all sports through April 15th, including spring football practices.
That’s forcing Tennessee to postpone the Orange & White Game, which was scheduled for April 18th.
“The Southeastern Conference on March 13 announced that all athletics activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through at least April 15, due to continuing developments related to COVID-19,” the University of Tennessee announced in a release. “The SEC had previously announced (on March 12) that all competition was suspended until March 30. That suspension of competition has been extended through April 15 and now includes all organized team activities.”
The suspension applies to all sports, and it means Tennessee’s football team cannot hold any practices for the next month.
Tennessee’s football team began team practices earlier this week, with the first day of practice starting on Tuesday. UT still practiced on Thursday, though they canceled media availability in the afternoon and closed off practice to the media later that day.
The university will be on spring break starting this weekend, meaning there are no classes or other activities on campus for the next week. Tennessee was going to take the week off from practice during spring break anyway.
Now, their break will last even longer.
“SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day on Friday, March 13,” Tennessee announced. “Team meetings (to communicate logistics) shall conclude no later than 5 p.m. local time on Monday, March 16.”
Tennessee’s annual spring game, the Orange & White Game, is postponed and will be “determined at a later date” according to a tweet from the official Tennessee football Twitter account.
The SEC’s postponement applies to all sports, not just football.