Auburn, AL (EETV)- Thursday was an emotional ride for Auburn Athletics as the SEC and NCAA canceled all operations during the rest of the 2020 spring athletics season. This ended all athletics including basketball, baseball, softball, swimming and diving, and tennis.
This action affected many athletes acroos the country including seniors from Auburn's program who have put in so much work for their sports.
Auburn men's basketball was in Nashville when the news was broken that there would not be anymore basketball to be played in 2020. Auburn had earned the second seed in the tournament and would have played Friday night against the winner of Texas A&M and Missouri.
The team was on the bus when Bruce Pearl told them the news. According to a tweet from Josh Vitale of the Mongomery Advertiser, there was "some anger, a couple of heads down, and a few tears."
Auburn senior Anfernee McLemore posted in Instagram with a slideshow of pictures from his time at Auburn with the caption "War Eagle Forever."
McLemore had become one of the leaders of the team averaging 6.6 points and four rebounds including a career high 19 points in a win over Ole Miss. McLemore was apart of the Final Four team who lost to Virginia in Minneapolis last April.
McLemore and fellow seniors Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy, Austin Wiley, and J'von McCormick all played their final game in Knoxville defeating Tennessee 85-63.
Auburn Baseball played their final two games this week losing to Georgia Tech and Wofford. The cancelation of athletic competition saw the career of senior Connor Davis come to a close.
Davis had a breakout season last year leading the team with a .290 batting average, 73 hits and 113 total bases. He would be apart of the run to the College World Series for the first time since 1997.
On Twitter, he posted a meaningful message thanking his coaches and staff for everything they did for his career.
Auburn Swimming and Diving had six induviduals qualify for the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia. Men's swimming qualifiers were Santiago Grassi, Arayan Makhija, Lleyton Smith, and Christian Sztolcman. Grassi was a three time All-American and a competitor at the 2017 World Championships.
On the women's side, nine induviduals qualified for the NCAA's including seniors Robyn Clevenger and Claire Fisch. Fisch transferred last season from Arizona St to compete in Auburn. Clevenger made Second Team All-American in 2018 including winning the 200 Freestyle at the NCAA Championships in the same year.
On the diving side, sophmore Conner Pruitt and senior Alison Maillard qualified for the Championships. Maillard had a solid career for the Tigers being awarded SEC Diver of the Year in 2016 and an All-American. This year she won the 1-Meter in the SEC Championships in Auburn.
Conner Pruitt posted on his Instagram after the event was canceled saying, "Upset the NCAA's was canceled, but I'm glad to have qualified in spite of, next stop Olympic Trials. War Eagle Always."
Allen Greene released a statement from the Athletic Department saying, "“The well-being of our student-athletes, staff, fans and the Auburn community will always be our highest priority,” Auburn athletics director Allen Greene said in a statement. “Given the global gravity of COVID-19, we appreciate the complexities of these difficult decisions. Our hearts go out to our student-athletes and coaches who have worked tirelessly to represent Auburn with class and excellence in their quest for championships. We thank the Auburn family for their understanding and patience as we navigate this unprecedented and fluid situation.”
As it stands all professional and college sports are not going to be in action until further notice. Most professional leagues including the MLS, MLB, NBA, NHL, and the PGA Tour will be pushed back until at least April if not even longer. Major events such as March Madness, the Masters, and college baseball and softball's postseason.
Auburn football's spring practice is canceled due to university announcing that it will go online until at least April 10th. A-Day was scheduled for April 11th but that date may be canceled.