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Eye on the Y: BYU athletics and the rest of the sports world is taking a hit from the coronavirus, but let’s stay calm

BYU guard TJ Haws (30) goes up to basket while defended by Pepperdine guard Sedrick Altman (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Wow, just when I was already feeling like this week was rough, last night really went in for the gut punch.

The NBA canceled the remainder of the season for the time being, and other professional leagues are following suit. On the college level, multiple conferences have cancelled their respective tournaments and the NCAA has announced the tournament will be closed to fans, but there’s speculation that it could just be canceled altogether.

On Thursday, BYU announced the remainder of sporting events held on campus will be closed to the general public. Only essential staff and players will be allowed.

It’s still possible the athletic department will choose to cancel all sporting events all together. We’ll just have to wait and see.

It's a scary time for sure, but remember it's just getting started in the U.S. It's going to get worse before it gets better, and the only way to help reduce possible exposure is to avoid large crowds, constantly clean surfaces and constantly wash your hands. If you show symptoms, don't go into work.

For the time being, The Salt Lake Tribune has removed the paywall on coronavirus content. So click away and stay updated as best you can. I know my coworkers are working diligently to make sure to get all the latest information out there.

So, speaking of having a rough week, on Monday the BYU men’s basketball team played a disappointing and uncharacteristic semifinal game in the West Coast Conference tournament that saw them get eliminated by Saint Mary’s by one point.

We all, myself included, were excited to see how they’d do this postseason — particularly in the NCAA Tournament. This is the best BYU squad since the Jimmer days, but their Cinderella season could be over before they even had a chance to show what they’re really capable of.

And if they already played their last game, then I feel sorry for the seniors who worked extra hard to lead their team back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years, but won't get to play in it.

BYU quarterback joins Bachelor Nation

On a lighter note, are there any Bachelor fans out there? I know I’ve been watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette religiously for years now, with the exception of a season here or there. (I never cared for Nick Viall.)

Well, it seems former BYU quarterback Bret Engemann will be one of the multitude of men vying for Clare Crawley’s heart on the next season of The Bachelorette, the well-known Reality Steve blogger noted.

Engemann played for BYU from 1999-2002 and is divorced with two sons, according to the blog. While at BYU, Engemann scored nine touchdowns on 2,183 yards in 18 games over three seasons.

Crawley, 38, was a runner-up on a previous season of The Bachelor. The upcoming season is set to debut in May.

More thoughts

• BYU football player Chaz Ah You will not be prosecuted for any of the five offenses he allegedly committed Feb. 9, including a DUI offense. The Utah County Attorney spoke to media on Wednesday about the evidentiary issues that caused him to decline to prosecute. Basically, it boiled down to lack of evidence and miscommunication from the arresting deputy. But he remains away from the team during spring practice, according to BYU coach Kalani Sitake.

The BYU men’s basketball team wasn’t the only team that left the WCC Tourney earlier than expected. The third-seeded women were upset in the quarterfinals by No. 6 Pepperdine, 62-51. It was a tough outing for the Cougars, who went in as the defending champions.

Other voices

• Jay Drew of the Deseret News spoke to a group of receivers who hope to lead the offense in scoring in the upcoming football season.

Justin Sterner’s journey from Saturday starter to the No. 1 guy on the BYU pitching staff almost didn’t happen, Darnell Dickson of the Daily Herald wrote. But it did.

• Sean Walker of KSL Sports breaks down some position changes noticed during spring football practices.

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