NFL prohibits in-person interviews with players before draft due to coronavirus

Key Points
  • The NFL sent a memo to teams Friday prohibiting them from interviewing draft candidates in person ahead of the draft on April 23 due to the coronavirus.
  • Teams can still interview players over the phone, but calls will be limited to an hour
  • The NFL still plans to hold the draft in Las Vegas on April 23, but those plans could change as the coronavirus continues to spread.
The 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theater on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.
Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

The NFL announced Friday major changes with the way it conducts its pre-draft interviews with prospective players in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a memo obtained by CNBC, the league said that based on the guidance of its medical experts, pre-draft interviews should be conducted via telephone or video conference, effective after today until further notice. The memo also prohibits players from traveling to club facilities or other locations to meet with team executives. Additionally, club personnel are told not to travel to any location, including a college campus, to visit with a draft-eligible player. 

"We have not taken this step lightly but believe that it is most consistent with protecting the health of our club personnel, draft eligible players, and the public. It also has the ancillary benefit of ensuring competitive equity," the memo says. 

Clubs are told they can schedule no more than three telephone or video conferences with an individual draft-eligible player per week and calls cannot last longer than an hour. 

The memo says that any personnel who violates these restrictions will be subject to league discipline. 

Despite numerous sports cancellations due to COVID-19, the NFL is still planning on holding the Draft beginning April 23rd in Las Vegas, but will monitor the situation and make adjustments to the event as necessary.

Professional sports leagues see widespread shutdowns amid coronavirus outbreak
Professional sports leagues see widespread shutdowns amid coronavirus outbreak