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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State athletics, NCAA Tournament canceled

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Ohio State canceled all athletic events through the end of the school year. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State athletics, NCAA Tournament canceled

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

NCAA Tournament, Ohio State athletics canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

The NCAA has canceled its national basketball tournament amid concerns of the coronavirus outbreak.

The unprecedented move to cancel the billion-dollar, revenue-generating tournament came Thursday after all conferences canceled their league tournaments Thursday. Professional leagues across the country have postponed or canceled operations, and the NCAA is following suit. The decision was made by the NCAA President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors.

Other universities around the country are beginning to cancel spring football practice, classes and athletic events, as the United States and nations around the world come to grips with what the World Health Organization is declaring a global pandemic.

The Big Ten is canceling all athletics through the end of the school year. The entire NCAA institution has done the same.

“The Big Ten Conference announced today that in addition to the Men’s Basketball Tournament it will be canceling all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year, and participation in all NCAA tournaments and competitions,” the Big Ten said in a statement. “In addition, the Conference has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.

“The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.”

These events are not the first events to be canceled, and they won’t be the last.

Jordan Hancock explains Clemson commitment

Ohio State can’t do any in-person recruiting due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the world of recruiting never truly stops for the Buckeyes. Jordan Hancock, a 4-star defensive back prospect from Georgia, picked Clemson over Ohio State after a visit with Dabo Swinney and the Tigers. It was an unexpected move by Hancock, who was favoring the Buckeyes until that visit.

Lettermen Row recruiting expert Birm talked to Hancock about his decision:

Ohio State needs no reminders of the threat Clemson poses it, and that national rivalry received another shot in the arm when North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.) High School star Jordan Hancock committed to the Tigers on Wednesday morning — three days after returning from Clemson, where he was visiting for the first time in over a year. Clemson offered Hancock in February, and the quickness with which it blew past Ohio State to not only become the leader in his recruitment but to land a commitment from one of the program’s top targets is rightfully concerning.

I believed Ohio State would be the ultimate landing spot for Hancock if he returned to Columbus for another visit. The Buckeyes were the unquestioned leader in his recruitment until he was at Clemson.

The full story, along with quotes from Hancock on his decision, can be found here.

Buckeyes waiting for news about C.J. Saunders

C.J. Saunders could be a valuable weapon for the Buckeyes next season. Or he could be out of eligibility. The football program is still waiting to find out if Saunders has been granted his sixth year of eligibility.

Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward wrote about the impact Saunders could have for the Buckeyes. Part of that is below:

The Ohio State wide receiver doesn’t yet have word from the NCAA about his appeal for a sixth season of eligibility. He’s currently listed as unavailable for spring camp as he works back from the knee injuries that derailed what was shaping up to be a dream senior season for a former walk-on who built himself into a captain for the Buckeyes. All he can do is watch, wait and work behind the scenes this spring.

But a resolution should be coming soon. And based on the fact that Saunders is even still around during this camp suggests both that there is optimism that he’ll be approved for an additional year of eligibility and that he and the Buckeyes believe that it’s worth all the effort.

For the full story, click here.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A recent graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his first year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.

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