If you’re reading this, you’ve already heard all about the widespread cancellations sweeping across the sports world and beyond due to coronavirus concerns. Even though football season is still over five months away, spring practice for the Oklahoma Sooners could possibly be part of the next wave of events to be temporarily sidelined.
OU’s scheduled spring football availability today has been canceled. From OU: “Details on future availability sessions will be shared when that information is determined.” #Sooners— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) March 12, 2020
In addition to media availability being canceled around OU Football, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby recently discussed the possibility to press pause on all spring practices around the conference, but as of Thursday morning those discussions have not yet formally taken place.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said they did not get to spring football practice in ADs meeting.— Jacob Unruh (@jacobunruh) March 12, 2020
"I think we will reconvene and consider this matter."
"I know there are some considering not holding spring football.
"We may adopt a conference-wide policy on it."
A Big 12 source tells me the league ADs are scheduled to have another meeting this afternoon. Spring football, spring sports likely to be on the docket. More updates are likely coming today.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) March 12, 2020
Judging from the rate this news has developed over the past couple days, along with the University of Oklahoma itself motioning towards online classes later this month, putting a hold on spring football practice seems like the next logical step. In fact, it’s already being reported by OUInsider’s Brandon Drumm that today’s practice has been cancelled.
In related news, it’s just been announced that OU’s baseball series at Cal Poly has been cancelled.
Now for today’s Hot Links — The Big 12 sends everybody home, another Riley pupil receives Heisman hype, the NBA is in a holding pattern and more.
- In case you missed the announcement, the Big 12 Championship Tournament has officially been canceled. Oklahoma was set to take on West Virginia on Thursday night in the quarterfinals, but obviously the health of these student-athletes and everyone else involved is paramount.
- If you’re wondering about the status of the NCAA Tournament, this should probably be a good indicator of what the future holds.
- Don’t tell Lincoln Riley, but even before redshirt freshman QB Spencer Rattler has been named starter, he’s already looked at as having the third-best odds of any player in the nation to win the 2020 Heisman Trophy.
- Kenneth Murray didn’t work out at OU’s Pro Day due to a minor hamstring setback suffered at the combine (in addition to the fact that he showed enough in Indy), but he did join NFL Network’s James Palmer and Lance Zierlein to talk about his strengths he can bring to a team and which pros he’s studied film on.
- Jack and Kamiar are back this week for another episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast amid the quickly-evolving landscape of the sports world. Here, the guys talk about spring football at OU, college basketball tournaments and how the coronavirus is drastically affecting these events.
Around the Sports World
- With increasing measures being taken around the basketball community to limit the possible spread of the infectious coronavirus, the spotlight suddenly shone on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. As OKC was getting set to tip-off against the Utah Jazz, officials had an emergency meeting that ultimately led to the suspension of the game with an arena already full of fans. This announcement is one of the more surreal sports moments I can remember witnessing in recent history.
Breaking: The Thunder-Jazz game has been postponed to a later date, per the NBA. pic.twitter.com/4z8liN5Kra— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
- Shortly after the Jazz and Thunder left the court in OKC, the NBA made the shocking decision to suspend all future games indefinitely until further notice.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
- If you didn’t know who Utah center Rudy Gobert was before last night (and he’s actually a very good player), you likely have heard of him by now. He’s the NBA’s ‘patient zero’, seeing as he’s the first player to test positive for coronavirus. Days before this diagnosis, he openly mocked the virality of the pandemic by purposely touching all the microphones at a press conference. It’s not a good look, and unfortunately for him he’ll forever be associated with this sophomoric stunt that realistically could have potentially spread the virus to others.
- The hits keep coming for the Jazz. After it was discovered Gobert was afflicted with COVID-19, teammate Donovan Mitchell was also tested and subsequently confirmed to have the virus. At this time it’s unclear who actually contracted the virus first, but one thing is for sure and that is it’s already spread to at least a couple people inside Utah’s organization with the possibility of more cases soon coming to light. Additionally, Mitchell trained to Del City High School prior to the scheduled game.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2020
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