Cameron Drummond was supposed to spend March sitting in the press row at the Big 10 Tournament — and then, he hoped, reporting on his first NCAA tournament.
Instead, he covered his final game on March 11. As an Indiana University senior, he reported on that night’s matchup against Nebraska while announcements flooded in about future games being closed to spectators and the NBA suspending its season.
In the final minutes of the game, Nebraska’s head coach, Fred Hoiberg, left the bench looking visibly sick, leaving Drummond and his reporting colleagues wondering about the future of the season and their chance of exposure after working right behind the Nebraska bench. (Hoiberg was later diagnosed with the flu.)
Over the coming days, Drummond’s phone blew up with messages from friends who were disappointed but not surprised when the season was cut short and their classes were moved online for part of the semester. Many who had already left campus for spring break tried to say goodbye, assuming they wouldn’t be back in Bloomington anytime soon.
Their suspicions were right; IU later moved to online courses for the rest of the semester and postponed its graduation ceremony.
“It was more of a hope that things would go back to normal, but I don’t think it was a realistic hope,” Drummond said. “All of our rational explanations told us that it was probably going to end.”
Drummond wants to cover sports professionally, and that March 11 game probably wasn’t his last chance to write about college basketball. Without knowing it that day, though, he reported on the Hoosiers for the final time with friends he grew with over the past few years — both fellow IU students and professional journalists who welcomed them to the beat.
To celebrate one last night together as college students, he and his friends grabbed takeout from a local restaurant, made their brackets, and played a beer pong version of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament they never got to cover.