NCAA Division I Men’s Championships Postponed Until Noon Friday EDT As Illness Affects Several Top Teams

Updated with NCAA statement as of March 25.

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 24. THE NCAA has confirmed that the start of the men's NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships will not begin until noon EDT Friday, one day after the scheduled start, as many swimmers from some of the top teams recover from gastrointestinal illness.

The story reports that an emergency coaches' meeting was held Wednesday evening to discuss options. One option was to hold Thursday's events as timed finals.

We originally reported this morning that swimmers from Arizona, Texas and Stanford were being treated at a hospital in Columbus for illnesses that were unknown to Swimming World at the time. Swimmers and staff from all three teams were on the same flight to Columbus, which was verified by a Ricky Berens Twitter post on March 22:

On the plane to NCAA with Stanford and Arizona. Intense plane flight! 11:22 AM Mar 22nd

Earlier today before the emergency coaches' meeting, the media relations department at Ohio State University released the following statement:

Eighteen student-athletes and one coach have been treated at the Ohio State University Medical Center and the Ohio State Sports Medicine Center for a possible gastrointestinal illness. All of the individuals are in Columbus to participate in the NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships.

The NCAA, the OSU Medical Center, Ohio State University officials and the local Ohio health department are working on the issue. One of the priorities is to ensure all teams and competitors are kept informed of developments and preventive measures.

At this time, the championships will continue as scheduled. The championship venue and facilities have been investigated and approved for use.

Ohio State Athletics Department team physician Dr. Chris Kaeding will be available to meet with the media at 7 p.m. this evening (Wednesday) at the Tom W. Davis Gym in the ground floor of the Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC).

Collegeswimming.com is also reporting that the affected swimmers have not been allowed into the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion by the Centers for Disease Control.

Thursday, March 25 release from NCAA
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be delayed by one day, due to the illness of some participants, the NCAA announced today. The championships will now begin at noon Eastern on Friday, March 26, at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and will end on Sunday, March 28.

The start of the championships was moved back to ensure the health and well-being of those participants who became ill and all student-athletes competing at the event.

Eighteen student-athletes and one coach were treated at The Ohio State University Medical Center and The Ohio State Sports Medicine Center for a possible gastrointestinal illness on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. All of the individuals are in Columbus to participate in the championships.

As of noon on Wednesday (March 24), no additional individuals involved in the championships were reported as showing signs of the illness. The championship venue and facilities have also been thoroughly examined by health officials and approved for use.

The NCAA, The Ohio State University Medical Center, The Ohio State University officials and the Ohio health department continue to monitor the issue. One of the priorities is to ensure all teams and competitors are kept informed of developments and preventive measures as they occur.

Regarding tickets: Thursday session tickets will now be good for Friday, Friday will be good for Saturday and Saturday's for Sunday. Refunds will be given to those who desire them by calling the OSU Ticket Office.

We will keep you posted throughout the week if more information develops on this story.

Read collegeswimming.com's full story here.