Cincinnati football is the first FBS program whose spring has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. More than, likely, though, the AAC school won’t be the last. In fact, far from it.
Cincinnati had been scheduled to play its annual football spring game April 10. Of late, however, the state of Ohio has been among a handful of states in this country that has seen a growing number of cases of the COVID-19. In fact, earlier Tuesday, the state’s governor, Mike DeWine, recommended that indoor sporting events be contested without fans being present. He did, though, stop short of banning attendance.
Tuesday evening, however, the Cincinnati football program announced that its annual spring game (and fish fry) has been canceled. That’s part of a broader plan that will see the university limit outdoor events to crowds of 150 spectators or less until May 1, 2020.
While the game has been canceled, Cincinnati will continue its spring football practice as previously scheduled.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
UC added the following in its press release:
Bearcats student-athletes will be provided with guidance and recommendations regarding safety during spring break and their return to campus. Scheduled meet-and-greets and public autograph sessions with UC student-athletes have been postponed until further notice.
Ohio State, it should be noted, is scheduled to conduct its spring game April 11, the day after UC’s now-canceled game was set to be played.