COVID lessons come early for college hoops

The college basketball season has gotten off to a rocky start in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are several inherent lessons organizers must realize for the season to continue.

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Sports

December 3, 2020 - 8:57 AM

Head coach Jim Christian of the Boston College Eagles waves to head coach Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats after their game in the 2K Empire Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena Nov. 25, 2020 in Uncasville, Conn. Photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images / TNS

We’re a week into the 2020-21 college basketball season, and the 11-time national champion UConn women have been strangely absent from fans’ TV screens. That’s how it’ll stay until at least mid-December.

Five days prior to what would have been the Huskies’ season opener, a member of the program (not a player or coach) tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a two-week pause of team activities that wiped out the team’s three early nonconference games. The shutdown arose less than a week after the UConn men returned from a shutdown of their own due to a player testing positive.

With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, UConn is far from the only school that needed to delay the start of its basketball season or pause things a few days in after someone contracted the virus. In the Big East alone, nine of 11 member schools have publicly disclosed temporary shutdowns for either one of their basketball teams this fall. Six teams have paused activities within the last two weeks.

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