Big Ten commisioner on NCAA Tournament: ‘What’s the right thing to do?’

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren cancelled the Big Ten tournament because “it was important for us” to put the student-athletes first in the conference handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Warren expects the NCAA to follow suit.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do. One thing I always do from a transparency standpoint is communicate directly with (NCAA president) Mark Emmert to let him know decisions that have been made,” Warren told Big Ten Network Thursday.

What does Warren expect to happen to the NCAA Tournament?

“Always, the answer I always say, is you ask yourself what is the right thing to do for your student-athletes,” Warren said. “At this point in time — we’re in a pandemic phase. This is a fluid situation. I have no idea what’s going to happen at 3 o’clock today or 3 o’clock tomorrow or next week or two weeks from now. The biggest things on these big decisions is the more information you can get, the more bright people you can have … I want to make sure we gather as much facts, make the decision and live with it. Not everyone will be happy.

.”… I feel good that we did the right thing. This is the right thing to do.”

Tennessee governor Bill Lee declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning after the state announced nine new cases of the virus were confirmed. A few hours later, the SEC tournament in Nashville was cancelled.

The Big East tournament began as scheduled Thursday afternoon.

All major conference tournaments were called off within about an hour with some teams on the court preparing for opening sessions of games, including in Indianapolis at the Big Ten tournament and also the Big 12 tournament.

Emmert announced Wednesday there would be no fan admission for the NCAA Tournament. That was before the NBA, MLS, PGA, ATP Tour and other professional leagues called off events or announced deep restrictions.

–Field Level Media