Report: Big Ten Network studio crew won't head to Indianapolis because of coronavirus concerns
The Big Ten Network won’t be sending its studio crew to Indianapolis next week for the conference’s men’s basketball tournament due to growing coronavirus concerns.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the network will broadcast its tournament pregame, halftime and postgame programs from its Chicago headquarters as a precautionary move.
BTN will still have a full staff of announcers, analysts and crew on-site at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the five-day, 13-game event that will begin Wednesday.
Even though the semifinals on March 14 and championship game on March 15 will be televised by CBS, BTN’s studio personnel will still have pregame and postgame shows both days.
BTN’s preventative measure is due to the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, that has infected more than 100,000 people worldwide and killed more than 3,300, with most of those deaths occurring in China.
There have been 14 deaths and more than 225 cases confirmed in the United States. Indiana health officials confirmed their state’s first case of coronavirus on Friday.
The health threat comes as the NCAA prepares to conduct its tournaments and championships for various sports at all levels.
Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University announced on Thursday no spectators will be permitted to attend the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament games it’s hosting this weekend.
The NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel released a statement on Friday that it’s “not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States.”