Wednesday, January 19, 2022

UCLA in Washington DC Threatened by COVID Husky Issues

The UCLA vs Washington DC basketball game in Seattle on Sunday remained in limbo after the Huskies were forced to postpone the opening of the Pac-12 conference due to COVID-19 issues in their program.

One person close to the situation told The Times on Thursday that seven Washington-based players and coaches have tested positive for the virus, leading to the postponement of Husky’s game against Arizona on Thursday night.

A spokesperson for the Washington DC Athletics Department said he could not discuss how many team members and coaching staff are eligible for COVID-19 protocols, but added that players and staff were 100% vaccinated, meaning any positive tests would be associated with serious illness. … As of Thursday afternoon, a spokesman said Sunday’s game was not over yet.

Washington played in Nevada on November 24, six days before Wolf Pack coach Steve Alford announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and would be isolated for 10 days. Nevada assistant coach Craig Neal was absent from the team’s victory over Pepperdine 79-66 on Tuesday due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Nevada vs. North Texas game scheduled for Saturday will not be played due to COVID-19 concerns as part of the Wolf Pack program, CBS Sports reported.

The game between Washington and Arizona was the first Pac-12 game delayed this season due to a virus. Conference officials announced ahead of the season that they would require teams unable to play due to virus concerns to give up seats, but in a statement Wednesday night said they would work with Washington and Arizona to find a mutually acceptable date for transferring the game.

UCLA experienced multiple disruptions over the past season due to COVID-19, with the game against Long Beach State being taken off the schedule twice due to 49ers-related virus issues. The Bruins were also scheduled to play a makeup game in Oregon in March after the referee tested positive and his peers were hooked up to contact tracing shortly before the teams were due to play in Eugene in late December. Several attempts to finalize the game before the teams finally met in March were unsuccessful when the Ducks had to suspend basketball due to the virus.

After his fifth-ranked team defeated Colorado, 73-61, Wednesday night at the Pac-12 opening, UCLA coach Mick Cronin expressed hope that everyone involved with the COVID-19 situation in Washington OK.

“It’s a shame,” Cronin said when asked about the problems with the husky. “It seems to be becoming a problem – I’ve seen a lot of NBA guys deal with it. This is unfortunate and we all need to be careful, you know, everyone gets an extra chance and does their best to stay safe.

If the Bruins vs. Washington game is canceled or postponed, UCLA (7-1) will not play again until it meets Marquette on December 11 in Milwaukee.

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