KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Southeastern Conference announced on Friday afternoon that all 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 the coronavirus.
The SEC had previously announced that all competition was suspended until March 30.
There are several sports on Tennessee's campus impacted by this, including baseball, softball and spring football.
The Orange and White game, previously scheduled for April 18, will no longer be played on that date. Tennessee football says the status of the game will be determined at a later date.
Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer called this a difficult but necessary decision while we are in the midst of a public health crisis.
"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.
SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day Friday, March 13. Team meetings shall conclude no later than 5 pm local time on Monday, March 16.
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In addition, the SEC added that conference member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.
"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 championship," Fulmer said. "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."