‘We want to provide an opportunity to continue to compete’: ACC commissioner discusses tournament

Sports

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA – MARCH 12: ACC Commissioner John Swofford speaks with the media prior to the quarterfinals round of the 2020 Men’s ACC Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 12, 2020 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Swofford addressed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact it will have on the remainder of the ACC Tournament. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

(AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford says the league men’s basketball tournament is ready to hold games as scheduled Thursday without fans in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Swofford held a news conference Thursday morning, a few hours before the first of four quarterfinal games. The league had announced Wednesday that it wouldn’t allow the general public into tournament games amid concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus that has become a global pandemic.

Swofford called it “a very fluid situation” that “changes daily now, and may well be changing hourly.”

Swofford said: “We want to provide an opportunity to continue to compete in this tournament for our players. Our understanding and belief is that that is what they would want.”

Swofford’s comments came at the start of the third day of the five-day event, after fans had attended six games at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Thursday’s games includes No. 4 Florida State, No. 10 Duke, No. 15 Louisville and No. 17 Virginia. The games will be held with only essential personnel, teams, player guests and credentialed media in attendance.

Swofford said he spoke with the commissioners of the other Power Five conferences, all of which are set to play basketball games today with few fans in the arenas.

The NCAA announced yesterday it planned to conduct its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments next week with only essential staff and some family members of teams in the building.

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