The NCAA announced Tuesday that it has established an advisory panel of medical, public health and epidemiology experts and NCAA schools to address the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline will lead the group.
"The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,'' NCAA chief operating officer Donald Remy said in a statement. "Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned; however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.
Coronavirus has surged around the globe in recent months. Worldwide, more than 92,000 people have been sickened and 3,100 have died, the vast majority of them in China. In the United States, the death toll climbed to nine -- all occurring in Washington state.
The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transferred from surfaces.
Hainline said the advisory group will make recommendations on competition based on evolving medical protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and state and local authorities.
"We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association's response to this outbreak,'' he said.
Later Tuesday, the Stanford athletic department announced the school's emergency coronavirus task force has recommended postponing or adjusting events on campus between March 4 and April 15. Stanford said it plans to "limit the number of attendees at our competitions in order to allow for sufficient social distancing.''
Stanford's women's basketball team is ranked No. 7 in the AP poll and was listed by the NCAA on Monday as one of the 16 teams that would potentially host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. The NCAA offers an early look at the possible top seeds in the tournament, known as a reveal.
The NCAA generates nearly $1 billion a year, most of it coming from the men's basketball tournament through media rights fees, corporate sponsorships and ticket sales.
Total attendance for the 2019 tournament was 688,753, an average of 19,132 per game. The Final Four at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis drew 72,711 for the semifinals and 72,062 for the championship game.
Attendance for the 2019 women's basketball tournament was 274,873, an average of 6,545 per game.
The men's tournament is scheduled to open March 17 and the women's tournament begins on March 20. The men's Final Four will be played the first weekend in April at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and the women's Final Four is set for Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The NCAA wrestling tournament is March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the first time the event has been held in a football stadium. The tournament is expected to break the attendance record of 113,743, set in Cleveland in 2018.
Conference basketball tournaments are set to begin next week, and the Big East, Pac-12, Mountain West, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences said in statements to the AP that they are proceeding as if their tournaments will go on but monitoring the situation.
The WAC noted that if its tournament is not completed, the tournament's No. 1 seed will advance to the NCAA Tournament as the league's automatic qualifier.
Sporting events across the globe have been canceled or contested with no spectators allowed in stadiums or arenas.
Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Association, urged the NCAA and the schools to take steps to protect athletes.
"Precautions should include cancelling all auxiliary events that put players in contact with crowds such as meet-and-greets, and press events,'' he said in a statement. "Athletic programs should also take every possible measure to sanitize buses and airplanes used to transport players.
"In regard to the NCAA's March Madness Tournament and other athletic events, there should also be a serious discussion about holding competitions without an audience present. ... The NCAA and its colleges must act now, there is no time to waste.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.