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General public not permitted at home Penn State sports events from March 11-April 3

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
In this file photo, the Penn State hockey team takes to the ice for a home game. The university announced Wednesday that the general public will not be permitted at PSU home events from March 11 through April 3 in response to the spread of the coronavirus. That policy applies to the PSU ice hockey game vs. Minnesota on Saturday.
  • The general public will not be permitted at home Penn State sports events.
  • The new policy will apply from March 11 through April 3.
  • The new policy was put in place in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

The general public will not be permitted to attend home Penn State sports events from March 11 through April 3.

The school announced the decision on Wednesday in a news release. It was made in response to the spread of the coronavirus. 

The school said the new protocols will be reevaluated after April 3.

The announcement came one week before the Penn State football team is scheduled to begin spring drills. The athletic department did not make an announcement regarding the Blue-White spring football game, scheduled for April 18.

Further, the athletic department did not address the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, scheduled to be held April 4-5 at the Bryce Jordan Center. USA Wrestling conducts the event.

The Big Ten Conference has said its men’s basketball tournament will continue in Indianapolis. Starting Thursday, however, the general public will not be allowed into the games.

Penn State York athletic director Jeff Barkdoll said he is uncertain, at this point, if the new policy will apply to PSY events.

The release said that all Penn State home competitions and practices will occur as originally scheduled. However, attendance at all of those events will be limited (for both Penn State and its opponents) to:  

►Essential personnel as designated by Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics.

►Participating student-athletes, coaches and staff.

►Families of participating student-athletes, coaches and staff.

►Media.

►Penn State recruits.

Fans who have already purchased tickets to the Big Ten men’s hockey semifinal game Saturday vs. Minnesota will be offered refunds. A communication will be forthcoming to all of those who have purchased tickets through the Penn State or Minnesota ticket offices or TicketMaster for the event.

Fans who already have purchased tickets to any other affected competition can contact the Penn State ticket office at 1-800-NITTANY with questions.

Fan attendance at road competitions will be decided in coordination with the respective opponents’ attendance policies.

Penn State has established a website for updates. For more information, visit sites.psu.edu/virusinfo.

York College baseball game postponed: In a related note, the York College home baseball game on Wednesday against Franklin & Marshall was postponed with no make-up date set.

Tuesday, F&M announced it was halting all college-sponsored travel for faculty, professional staff and students through at least March 31 in response to the coronavirus. This directive canceled all travel for F&M's athletic teams.

York College has not yet made a similar move about its athletic events.

PIAA events still on: The PIAA has not yet made any changes to it schedule of postseason events because of the coronavirus.

Both the PIAA swimming and basketball championships are still being held as scheduled and the general public has not yet been barred from those events. Some game sites have been changed, however, because of health concerns from individual host schools and certain competing teams.

The PIAA released a statement Monday that said it was continuing to monitor the situation and has been in contact with public health officials. The PIAA has not issued an update since Monday.

Wednesday, the PIAA did release the sites and times for Friday's state quarterfinal basketball games.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com. The (Allentown) Morning Call contributed to this report.