MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - Middle Tennessee State University announced on Saturday that fans will not be allowed to attend games at Murphy Center for the first two weeks of the men’s and women’s basketball season because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The university made the decision out of concern about the recent spike in COVID-19 active cases in Rutherford and surrounding counties, as well as guidance from public health officials who have recently cautioned against large, indoor gatherings.
“We realize our fans will be extremely disappointed in this decision, but we ask for their continued cooperation as we make unpleasant adjustments due to the pandemic,” MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro said in a news release. “Our number one concern is the health and safety of our student athletes and the entire MTSU community. We eagerly await the University and health professionals decision to allow fans back in Murphy Center.”
Only team members, coaches, essential staff, family members of coaches and players and media will be in attendance for games from Nov. 25 to Dec. 9.
The men’s basketball team is slated to play home games against Murray State (Dec. 2) and Chattanooga (Dec. 6) during this time. The women’s basketball team is set to host No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 25), Vanderbilt (Nov. 29), Belmont (Dec. 3) and Tulane (Dec. 9).
MTSU will announce after Dec. 9 whether to resume fan attendance for its men’s game on Dec. 12 against Covenant College.
Only team members, coaches, essential staff, family members of coaches and players and media will be allowed to attend the games the first two weeks of the season.
Because of the uncertainty of how many games will be missed, decisions regarding potential refunds will be announced at a later date.