All UT & SEC practices & team activities suspended until at least April 15; status of Vols football spring game TBD; Fulmer quotes

University of Tennessee / Credit: UT Athletics

Last updated: March 13, 2020 | 4:05 p.m. ET

As Tennessee Athletics and the UT Office of Emergency Management closely monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) developments, the health of our student-athletes, staff and campus community remains at the forefront of all decision making. These are unique circumstances, and responsible and deliberate decisions are being made in consultation with public health authorities. Given the fluid nature of ongoing developments, we will share new, pertinent information as it becomes available.

The Southeastern Conference on March 13 announced that all athletics activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through at least April 15, due to continuing developments related to COVID-19.

The SEC had previously announced (on March 12) that all competition was suspended until March 30. That suspension of competition has been extended through April 15 and now includes all organized team activities.

SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day on Friday, March 13. Team meetings (to communicate logistics) shall conclude no later than 5 p.m. local time on Monday, March 16.

Tennessee, along with all SEC member institutions, will continue to provide student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.

Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer released the following statement on March 13.

“The past several days have been filled with uncertainty and have presented unique and challenging circumstances. A growing public health crisis has led to difficult but necessary decisions. I personally am grateful for the courageous leadership of Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey, UT Chancellor Plowman and the rest of our conference presidents, chancellors and ADs. Dialogue is ongoing. We are all in uncharted territory, and there is no manual to guide our decision making. However, we must continue act with abundant caution while prioritizing health and safety throughout our campuses and communities.

“I am heartbroken for our student-athletes who have poured their heart and soul into their training and now find themselves in a season of uncertainty. There are many lingering questions related to academics, eligibility, training schedules, housing and various other internal operations for which we do not yet have answers. But I am focused on actively engaging in the dialogue that is to come as we work to support our young men and women—highlighting their physical, mental and emotional wellness—to help them move forward.

“To our incredible fans, donors and alumni—I understand the frustration that comes along with canceled events, ticket refunds and many lost opportunities to celebrate Tennessee wins and championships. But I’m confident that these circumstances will stir the passion of the world’s most extraordinary fanbase, and that your love for the Vols and Lady Vols will shine through like never before when the action eventually resumes.

“Please take care of yourselves and each other as we navigate the days to come together, prioritizing the greater good.”

Additional guidance and precautionary measures are available at the university’s COVID-19 page: https://www.utk.edu/coronavirus

Competitions and Tickets

Single-game tickets for baseball and softball purchased directly through AllVols.com or Tennessee Athletics will be refunded in the form of the original payment. Fans will not need to request a refund; those purchases will be automatically refunded in seven to 10 business days. Refunds will be issued to the original purchaser of record.

Tennessee Athletics will follow up with communication to baseball and softball season-ticket holders related to refunds based on the restriction duration.

Refunds for ticket purchases made via cash or check could take up to six weeks to process.

For questions related to refunds or ticket purchases, please contact the Tennessee Athletic Ticket Office at (865) 656-1200.

Tennessee’s Chevrolet Orange & White Game will not be played on April 18. The status of the game will be determined at a later date.

The NCAA Rowing Championships, scheduled to be hosted by the University of Tennessee and take place in Oak Ridge from May 29-31, have been canceled.

Recruiting & Travel

For the health and safety of all involved, the SEC is prohibiting its coaches from conducting off-campus recruiting activities or hosting prospective student-athletes on official or unofficial campus visits at this time.

At the institutional level, effective March 10, nonessential UT-related international and domestic travel outside the state of Tennessee was suspended.

Other Events

All third-party competitions, events and tours scheduled to take place at UT athletic facilities through March 30 are canceled. Events scheduled after that date will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis moving forward.

The Tennessee Football Coaches Clinic, originally scheduled for March 26-28, has been canceled. Coaches who pre-registered for the event will be refunded. In addition, Tennessee’s Pro Day, originally scheduled for March 26, has been postponed until further notice.

-UT Athletics

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