Penn State Basketball On Pause Due to COVID-19 Concerns
NOTE: This article has been edited to correct factual errors that were present in its initial form.
After the Penn State football team finished its season as one of the few teams in the Big Ten to not have a game canceled due to COVID-19, the school’s basketball program has not seen that same luck.
It was when the Nittany Lions (3-4), now on a three-game losing streak, were set to face off against Wisconsin when the trouble began. The day before the game was set to tip off, it was announced that it would be postponed due to what was described as a decision “mutually agreed upon” for the health and safety of the players.
There was no mention of the virus at this point, and it was unclear whether the problems were on the Wisconsin side or the Penn State side. This was the first Big Ten game of the season to be postponed. Penn State head coach Jim Ferry had spoken with the media hours before the announcement was made. He has not addressed the situation since that day.
Days went by, and Wisconsin went back to practice. The Badgers now look to continue conference play against Indiana.
Penn State, however, would not be as lucky. The day before the team was supposed to return to the court to face Ohio State, it was announced that the game would yet again be postponed, this time due to positive COVID-19 results.
The initial press release didn’t specify if it was players, coaches or other staff members who tested positive.
In the days following the announcement, Penn State revealed that it would place a temporary pause on team activities, postponing upcoming games against Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 9 and Rutgers on Tuesday, Jan. 12.
The Nittany Lions are still scheduled to play Purdue on Jan. 17. The team stated that it is willing to make up the four games it is missing, most of which are against ranked programs.
The Nittany Lions had one other game canceled this season, back in November. That game against Drexel was called off due to COVID-19 protocols, but we never found out which side had the issues.
That takes us to now. Penn State is the only Big Ten program to have canceled or postponed multiple conference games due to COVID-19 and is the first to temporarily close operations. At this point, it is still unclear who in the program has the virus and whether or not they are symptomatic.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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