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On the heels of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s announcement to close all North Carolina public schools for the remainder of the school year, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association made the announcement Friday afternoon to cancel all sporting events for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19.

“Today’s decision is difficult for the NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff. We empathize with the thousands of student-athletes, especially graduating seniors, coaching staffs, officials and family members affected by this decision,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker on Friday. “However, this decision reflects a commitment to keeping our student-athletes, officials and member schools’ staffs and their communities safe, while following the guidelines provided by the Governor and his team, along with the Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.”

Cooper's previous executive order called for all public school buildings to be closed until May 15. The NCHSAA had postponed all athletic activities until May 18 with the possibility of playing the state basketball championships, which were scheduled to be played on March 14. The first suspension of all NCHSAA events was made two days earlier.

The cancellation of all sporting events will include the state basketball championships and all remaining spring sporting events, including regular-season games, state playoffs and state championships.

As of Friday, no decision has been made on whether the 16 boys and girls basketball teams that reached the state championship will be recognized as co-champions or if no state champion will be named for this year.

The NCHSAA Board of Directors, in its meeting next week, will discuss finalizing the state basketball playoffs, policies for summer activities, as well as address academic eligibility concerns for Fall 2020. The first day of practice for the 2020-21 season is scheduled for Aug. 1.

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