St. John’s University suspends athletic programs

Courtesy of St. John’s Athletics

St. John’s University announced Thursday that it has suspended all activities indefinitely amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was announced with guidance from public health and medical professionals and the university’s leadership.

“Effective immediately, all competition, practices and athletic related activities are postponed for the foreseeable future to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and supporters,” the university said in a statement.

The St. John’s men’s basketball team faced off against No. 1 Creighton in an almost-empty Madison Square Garden during a Big East Tournament showdown earlier Thursday, only to have the game canceled during halftime.

Other conferences around the NCAA also canceled their postseason tournaments, and the NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments as the fallout from the spread of coronavirus continues.

“Due to continuous developments on the national and international levels, it is in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and all members of the St. John’s Athletics community that we proactively take these measures,” St. John’s Director of Athletics Mike Craig said. “The health and well-being of these individuals will always be our priority. While this is a challenging time for all of us, I firmly believe it is important to take action, despite the unfortunate impact it will have, in order to help ensure the safety of everyone involved with Red Storm Athletics.”

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