USC Athletics announces coronavirus precautions

USC joins a select list of other collegiate athletic departments that have decided to restrict spectator attendance at home athletic events due to coronavirus concerns. UCLA’s athletic department announced similar protocols Tuesday. (Daily Trojan file photo)

The University of Southern California issued a statement Tuesday evening announcing new attendance protocols for home athletic events in response to developments related to coronavirus.

Starting Wednesday and continuing through March 29, nonessential spectators will not be allowed to attend home USC athletic events. Those allowed to attend games include team personnel, game officials, families of student athletes, potential recruits and media.

Game and practice schedules remain mostly unchanged and all home USC athletic events are set to continue as planned. Games will be televised and streamed as scheduled on the Pac-12 Networks and USC’s official athletics website despite the absence of fans in attendance.  

Spring football practices, which are scheduled to begin Wednesday, will also fall under these guidelines. Spring practices are traditionally open to fans for the entirety of the spring session, culminating in the annual Spring Showcase. The status of audiences allowed at the showcase remains the same for now. The event is still scheduled for April 11 at noon.  

All fans who have purchased tickets to the impacted events have been referred to the USC Ticket Office for questions or concerns. Uncertainty remains for those who have already purchased single- and multi-game ticket packages for impacted games. The office was closed and did not answer calls for comment before publication.

Three visiting teams had already announced the cancellation of scheduled contests in Los Angeles to play the Trojans. 

Harvard Men’s Volleyball announced Sunday that its three-game West Coast trip, which included visits to Malibu and Irvine along with a trip to USC Saturday, had been canceled. 

USC Women’s Lacrosse announced in a statement earlier Tuesday afternoon it had reached a joint agreement with Stony Brook Women’s Lacrosse to cancel their scheduled Sunday contest in an abundance of caution. 

USC Women’s Tennis also announced Monday the cancellation of a women’s tennis matchup with North Carolina State scheduled for Friday.

None of the cancellation announcements have included plans for rescheduling the impacted games. 

USC will continue all away travel for athletic events as originally scheduled and is prepared to make accommodations for team personnel who do not feel comfortable traveling to or participating in team activities. 

Despite there being no confirmed cases of coronavirus on the USC campus, athletics staff will continue to implement “enhanced cleaning measures and public hygiene practices” in campus athletic facilities, according to the statement.