MEAC suspends remainder of men's, women's basketball tournament

Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 18:12:47-04

NORFOLK, Va. - (MEAC Media Relations) The 2020 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Basketball Tournament has announced the suspension of the remainder of its men's and women's basketball tournament, which was being held at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

Additionally, all spring sports competitions are being suspended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.

Originally, Friday and Saturday’s semifinal and championship rounds were slated to operate on restricted attendance, with only players, coaches, officials, event staff, essential institutional staff, conference staff, credentialed media and student-athlete guests allowed.

This is based on the current climate surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia Thursday.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.

Fans who have purchased tickets to the semifinal and championship sessions on Friday and Saturday are asked to contact the venue through which they made their purchase for refunds.

Dressed in her Spartan green and gold, Norfolk State alum Gladys Massenburg strutted her stuff Thursday before heading in to Scope to cheer on her home team.

"I have been coming here for years. It means a great deal to me because of all the young people participating," said Massenburg.

Hundreds of fans walked into an electric, exciting environment between N.C. A&T and N.C. Central women. But many of the fans will only get to experience hoops on the hardwood Thursday.

"This is obviously a decision we did not want to make and for most of the world and America, this is uncharted territory," said Dr. Thomas.

The remainder of the tournament was canceled.

"I think the decision was wise. I think if they made the decision last night, a lot of people would have been here for event and then would have to go home," said Massenburg.

Many fans in attendance Thursday traveled from more than four hours away.

"I am very surprised at the turn of events. I didn't realize how bad the virus was," said N.C. Central fan Perry Williams.

"I was really shocked, but earing what NBA and NCAA did, I think it's about safety at this point," said fan Monzell Williams.