The Pitt Panthers football team has canceled its annual Blue-Gold spring game and the remainder of its spring practices amid growing novel coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns, a team official tells DKPittsburghSports.com.
The Blue-Gold game was originally scheduled to take place April 11 at Heinz Field, and the team planned to resume spring practices on Tuesday, March 17, after returning from Spring Break, which began March 7. As it stands, the team practiced three times — March 2, 4 and 6 — before the cancelation.
This news follows the ACC's suspension of all athletic activities, which occurred Thursday, March 12.
“This is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “This decision is aimed to protect from the further spread of COVID-19.”
Pitt director of athletics Heather Lyke offered the following on the situation:
“The decision was made with one priority in mind — the health and well-being of our student-athletes,” Lyke said. “We are very cognizant of the disappointment that may be felt by our young people who worked and prepared so hard for their seasons. However, this is an unprecedented circumstance, and we must prioritize safety and responsibility in our response to it. The decision to indefinitely suspend all competition, practices and recruiting is one we fully support.
“Our administrators, staff and coaches will remain actively engaged with all of our student-athletes, ensuring their well-being during this time of suspended athletics activity and distance learning.”
Saturday afternoon, two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Allegheny County, and those two subjects are in self-quarantine in a personal home together. There is additionally one confirmed case in Washington County and the Pennsylvania Department of Health reports a total of 47 cases across the state.