Cincinnati cancels next month’s spring football game amid coronavirus outbreak

Cincinnati has cancelled its spring football game as a precautionary measure due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. The Bearcats Spring Football & Fish Fry event was originally scheduled for Friday, April 10. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the university as of Tuesday evening. 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that he is urging that spectators be banned from attending indoor events at the high school, college and professional levels.

“We are always going to put the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront of any decisions and will abide by Governor DeWine’s recommendations regarding indoor athletics events on campus,” athletic director John Cunningham said. “UC Athletics is continuously monitoring COVID-19 in conjunction with our medical staff, university administration, UC’s Public Health Response Team and the American Athletic Conference. UC will continue to conduct home events and advise our teams to travel in a safe and responsible manner.”

As a precaution, the university will limit outdoor events to crowds of 150 spectators or less until May 1 as enhanced sanitizing and cleaning procedures will be in place at all venues. The school still intends to sent its men’s basketball team to the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, later this week.

The Bearcats are entering their fourth season under football coach Luke Fickell. They’ve posted back-to-back double-digit win seasons, won bowl games in consecutive seasons and have finished in the top 25 in each of the past two years.

The news that their spring game won’t be played comes on the same day that the MAC announced that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Cleveland this week will be played with only institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media, television and radio crews, and official team party members in for attendance. The tournaments will be closed to the general public.

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