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CHAPEL HILL — After Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday public schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, school athletic leaders followed suit.
N.C. High School Athletic Association commissioner Que Tucker announced all sporting events are also cancelled — thus ending the 2019-20 spring sports season.
"Today's decision is difficult for the NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff," Tucker said. "We empathize with the thousands of student-athletes, especially graduating seniors, coaching staffs, officials and family members affected by this decision.
"However, this decision reflects a commitment to keeping our student-athletes, officials and member school 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."
Ending sports for the rest of the school year also cancelled the high school basketball state championships. It has not been announced yet how the state champions will be decided — or if there will be state champions.
The NCHSAA Board of Directors is supposed to meet next week to discuss further changes made to high school sports. Tucker said she will make another announcement after that meeting to clarify the future of high school sports.
Tucker ended her official statement with a positive outlook for the near future of high school sports.
"Now, as we continue to deal with this difficult time, we must do so by applying the lessons that education-based athletics teaches us: cooperation, patience, sacrifice, responsibility, perseverance and resilience," Tucker said. "Together, we will be able to put a 'W' in the win column."