USC football’s first six practices of Spring Camp will no longer be open to the public because of concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
USC football’s plans to keep Spring Camp practices open to the public have been derailed.
As part of a response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Trojans announced on Tuesday night wide-ranging policies limiting public access to all athletic events held on campus until March 29 at the earliest. That includes games as well as previously open practices.
The university had already transitioned to online classes and canceled all university events on campus.
USC’s football team was scheduled to return to the practice field on Tuesday but that first practice of Spring Camp was delayed to Wednesday because of weather concerns with a thunderstorm hitting Los Angeles.
The Trojans will complete their first week of practice as scheduled, with dates on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Then they will take a week off for Spring Break, returning on March 24 for another week of practice on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Those dates are now all closed to the public.
Media is expected to be allowed to attend practice, so reports of what is going on behind the walls of Howard Jones Field will still be available. Unfortunately, fans will not be able to see the Trojans with their own eyes until Tuesday, March 31 at the earliest.
Restricting public access to practice is the least of the measures programs around the country are taking to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The Ivy League canceled spring practices entirely. Cincinnati canceled their Spring Game on April 10 while the governor of Ohio asked for all indoor sporting events to be held without spectators.
On the basketball side of things, the Pac-12 Tournament is expected to continue as planned, but the situation with that tournament as well as the NCAA Tournament remain in flux.
There has been no public connection between USC’s student or student-athlete population and the coronavirus as of yet. These moves appear to be completely cautionary.