SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The impact of the Covid-19 virus on the world of sports has been massive.
Virtually every sporting event in the state and the country has been either suspended or canceled altogether.
The NBA season was suspended for at least 30 days after Jazz all-stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert and Mitchell arrived back in Utah from Oklahoma City Thursday night, hours after the rest of the team flew back to Salt Lake City.
The NCAA Tournament was canceled for the very first time for fear of spreading the virus. That means Utah State will not make its second straight appearance in the Big Dance despite winning the Mountain West Tournament, and BYU will not earn an at-large bid that would have ended a five-year drought NCAA Tournament drought.
The news that March Madness was being turned into March Sadness shocked the Cougars.
“We heard the news and it was a locker room full of tears and shock and utter silence for as long as I’ve probably been in silence,” head coach Mark Pope said. “The reality that we don’t get to compete on the floor again is almost too much to take.”
Pope was holding out hope that they’d still be able to play the Tournament with no fans in attendance.
“If it was all possible to have this tournament safely or to postpone with potentially having it safely, I think there is nobody in the world that wouldn’t be in support of that,” Pope said. “Apparently, the experts are saying that’s not possible.”
Major League Soccer also suspended its season for at least 30 days, so Real Salt Lake will miss a minimum of five games.
Every spring athletic event at all of the local colleges, at Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State, Utah Valley, Dixie State and Southern Utah, has been canceled.
Also, the Utah High School Activities Association has suspended all spring sports for at least two weeks.
The start of the Salt Lake Bees baseball season has been suspended indefinitely, while the Utah Grizzlies hockey season has also been interrupted. The Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA G-League will also not play for several weeks.