GREENSBORO, N.C. – It’s an unprecedented time in the world of sports with the fears of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading from the professional leagues to college conferences, including the ACC.
Commissioner John Swofford stated that this is a fluid situation, changing on a weekly, a daily and as we experienced Thursday, an hourly basis.
A coliseum typically filled with thousands and corridors and hallways typically flooded with fans stood empty. Tournament town turned into a ghost town.
“Very disappointed, of course I want everyone to be safe but it’s just so disappointing,” said Amy Wilkerson of Danville. She made the trip down to Greensboro to root on the NC State Wolfpack.
The ACC made the initial change to not allow fans at remaining games starting Thursday, but since things escalated overnight, the decision was made to suspend the ACC tournament altogether. Later came the announcement for the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. It was a crushing blow to a city that was hosting not only the Men’s and Women’s ACC Tournaments but also the first round of March Madness.
“I’m sorry; I don’t agree with that at all, I just feel that, you know, it’s been taken out of proportion. I just feel that it’s the flu,” said Miiram Ellis of Tampa, Florida. She and her husband Robert made an 11-hour drive to cheer for the Florida State Seminoles.
“Kind of an interesting period I guess. We want everyone to be safe and do the right thing and we think that overall everyone is trying to do the right thing,” said Clemson fan and alum Chris Hemmings.
The ACC has also suspended all athletic-related activities, including all competition, formal and organized practices and recruiting. That also applies to all of spring sports.