In light of the NCAA’s unprecedented announcement to cancel the remainder of winter and spring championships in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Daemen College has suspended all practices and competitions for the college’s 17 intercollegiate athletic programs.
“Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and coaches,” said Traci Murphy, director of athletics. “We will make a determination about the safe return to practices and competitions at a later date, depending on developments with the coronavirus pandemic.”
NCAA’s President, Mark Emmert, and its Board of Governors canceled the 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision was based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the ability to ensure that the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year.
The announcement includes the NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, which Daemen teams had qualified for with competitions to be held in Garden City, N.Y. (women) and Bridgeport, Conn. (men).
The Daemen women’s basketball team returned from Long Island on March 12, following the NCAA’s unprecedented announcement—a day before the program was to make its NCAA tournament debut. The Wildcats had won their first East Coast Conference tournament championship just days earlier in Washington, D.C.
The Daemen men’s basketball team, which was to compete in the NCAA tournament for a second consecutive season, departed on March 12 for their first-round contest against top-seeded Bridgeport, which was scheduled for March 14. The team made it as far as Binghamton before returning to campus following the cancellation announcement that afternoon.