Gymnastics closes meet to public due to coronavirus concerns


Central Michigan coach Christine MacDonald speaks with members of the gymnastics team Jan. 5 at McGuirk Arena.

Central Michigan's gymnastics team will compete with a restricted attendance policy due to coronavirus concerns.

Just over 90 minutes after the university decided to suspend all face-to-face classes through March 20, the athletic department announced the gymnastics meet against Ball State on Sunday at McGuirk Arena will be played without fans.

The meet will be closed to the general public. The decision was made by the athletic department based on guidance from the Mid-American Conference.

Only credentialed institutional personnel, student-athlete family members, credentialed media and official team party members will be  allowed to attend the meet between the Chippewas and Cardinals.

Fans who already purchased tickets for the event will be reimbursed.

CMU's contest against Ball State is the final meet before the MAC Championships on March 21 in Kalamazoo. Following the conference championships, the NCAA Regional Championships take place April 4.

After the MAC basketball tournaments closed its doors to fans, athletic director Michael Alford said he fully supports the implementation of new safety precautions.

"I fully support the decision made by Commissioner (Jon) Steinbrecher and the leadership of the Mid-American Conference," Alford said. "These are serious times, and it is important to follow the recommendations of public health and medical officials. The health and safety of all involved is of the utmost importance."

President Bob Davies said all CMU-sponsored events or gatherings of more than 50 people are canceled through March 31, including registered student organizations.

"Athletic events will follow NCAA and Mid-American Conference (MAC) guidelines," Davies said.