Duke, Kansas suspend athletic competitions amid coronavirus outbreak

Duke University and the University of Kansas announced Thursday they suspended all athletic competition in response to the coronavirus outbreak that appears to be shutting down the entire sports world.

The schools announced that the suspension applies to all athletic competitions. It appeared that Duke had pulled out of the NCAA tournaments, while a Kansas official told CBS Sports it had not yet pulled out of the tournaments. The announcement came after the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 12 Conference decided to cancel the men’s basketball tournament.

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“During this unpredictable time, Duke Athletics fully supports all measures to protect the health and welfare of the Duke family and beyond,” Duke athletic director Kevin White said in a statement. “While we understand this may be daunting to many, please know that this decision is entirely in the best interest of all student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans.”

Legendary men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski applauded Duke President Vincent E. Price's decision in his statement.

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“We emphatically support the decision made by Dr. Price today regarding the suspension of athletic competition at Duke. The welfare of our student-athletes, and all students at Duke, is paramount, and this decision reflects that institutional priority. Certainly, I want to applaud Dr. Price, who took a leadership role with his presidential peers and the Atlantic Coast Conference in arriving at this decision.”

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long also added a statement:

The Kansas official clarified the statement later.

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Duke and Kansas are the first major Division I school to effectively eliminate itself from postseason play. The Ivy League had canceled its spring athletics and left it up to the schools to decide what to do about the winter sports’ postseason.