The move from suspended to canceled has shifted for some NCAA athletic conferences, and more could come as the week passes.
The Sun Belt Conference, to which Appalachian State belongs, today announced it would cancel all organized athletics-related activities, including regular-season events, conference championships and practices, because of the threat of the novel coronavirus.
In addition, Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich said during a radio interview that he expected the ACC to follow a similar action also taken by the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. He said a conference call was scheduled for Tuesday.
And the American Athletic Conference, which counts East Carolina among its members, also adopted the same measures as the Sun Belt today.
App State also announced that it is postponing its 2020 Mountaineers Spring Tour until further notice. The athletics department also canceled its open-to-the-public spring practice Saturday and its football pro day on March 27.
"These are uncharted waters for us in college athletics and in our society, for which there is no playbook," said athletics director Doug Gillin in a school-issued statement. "Our hearts go out to all that are being affected by this pandemic. Our priority is always the health and well-being of our student-athletes, so we are following the guidance of state and local health officials, university leadership and the Sun Belt Conference in all of our decision-making.
"We will continue working every day to take care of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, to make sure our student-athletes have the resources to be successful academically. We encourage everyone to stay safe, take precautions and follow the recommendations of health professionals."
After canceling the ACC basketball tournament Thursday just before quarterfinal play was set to start, the conference followed by suspending all its spring sports indefinitely.
"I would imagine that unless something very unusual happens the ACC will follow suit and cancel all spring activities,” Radakovich said on WCCP-FM.
Following that ACC decision, the NCAA canceled its winter and spring sports championships roughly four hours later. That decision ended national title pursuits for six App State wrestlers that were set to go to the NCAA championships next week.
The Sun Belt followed shortly after with an indefinite suspension of its own on Thursday, and it has now moved to cancel all remaining games.
App State completed 11 of 15 spring football practices before the school's spring break. Originally scheduled for one week (March 9 through March 13), the school extended break for two weeks, allowing teachers to shift their instruction to an online format.
The Mountaineers baseball team had started the season 10-6 (with another victory a couple outs away due to a postponed game against N.C. A&T on Feb. 18), stymied before its first Sun Belt series.
"As you can imagine, this is a sad day for our program," baseball coach Kermit Smith said in a tweeted graphic. "To be around this group for the past few moths has been on of the most fun experiences of my many years in this profession.
"It was clearly evident early on in the fall that this team was rich in leadership, toughness and discipline."