Gamecocks’ Staley issues statement following cancellation of NCAA Tournaments

Gamecocks’ Staley issues statement following cancellation of NCAA Tournaments
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, center right, and Tyasha Harris, center left, acknowledge the crowd after defeating Mississippi State in a championship match at the Southeastern Conference women's NCAA college basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro) (Source: Richard Shiro)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With the NCAA Tournaments now canceled, the quest to win a national championship is now over for many college teams across the nation.

Among those who will not get a chance to vie for a national title are the South Carolina Gamecocks. The reigning SEC regular-season and tournament champions were in line to receive a No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament. Some even speculate that the Gamecocks may have been the tournament’s top overall seed.

However, the Gamecocks will not have the chance to take the floor to compete against some of the nation’s best programs this year.

"This is a difficult time with so many conflicting emotions. First and foremost, we have to recognize how important it is to do the right thing for our community. Sports is a big part of our lives, but just one part of how we are connected to each other. We need to step back and think about the larger good served by canceling events that put people at risk,” Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley said in a statement on Thursday.

“As competitors, we are certainly disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to contend for a second National Championship. That said, it will not diminish the way we look at our season, how we value our body of work over the last few four months. We have measured ourselves against the best in the country over that time, and will embrace and relish that accomplishment. For our seniors and the others throughout the country, who will not have the chance to finish their careers the way they expected to - that’s a tougher, more emotional thing to process. Again, we have to lean on that this is the right thing for everyone’s health and safety.”

The Gamecocks boasted two seniors on their roster. Tyasha Harris and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan were pivotal to the team’s success this year.

Carolina ends the season with a 32-1 overall record. They also ended the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record in SEC play.

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