VCU basketball 2021 39;Multiple positive39; COVID.19 tests doom
VCU basketball VCU basketball positive' 'Multiple doom tests COVID-19
Sat, 20 Mar 2021 16:00:00 -0700
VCU becomes first team pulled from NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols; Oregon advances without playing
INDIANAPOLIS — VCU became the first team pulled from NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols Saturday evening.
The NCAA said the 10th-seeded Rams’ first-round game Saturday against Oregon was declared a no-contest.
As a result, seventh-seeded Oregon advanced to the second round without playing.
Brutal way to exit the NCAA tournament https://t.co/y2w6Fpxcq4
“Brutal way to exit the NCAA tournament,” CBS 6 Sports Director Lane Casadonte said.
The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee said the decision, which came a little more than three hours before the teams were set to play in the West Region, was made in consult with the Marion County Public Health Department.
“The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff, will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate,” NCAA officials wrote.
Tournament officials said they could not comment further “because of privacy issues.”
VCU Athletics Director: Team did ‘excellent job following COVID-19 protocols’
VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said the team just learned of this week’s positive tests Saturday and was informed at 6:20 p.m.
that the game would be a no-contest.
While McLaughlin would not confirm number of positive tests, he said VCU had enough kids to play the game tonight.
“Health department concern comes from multiple positive tests in the past 48 hours,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin, who had hoped that the could play by utilizing contact tracing, said they cannot tell where the positives started as the team has been in quarantine since Sunday night and tested negative originally.
However, McLaughlin said the committee felt that with multiple positives in such a short period of time, there was a concern for everyone involved with tonight’s game.
This is the second straight year that VCU’s season has ended off the court.
“It’s hard for our student-athletes,” McLaughlin said.
“They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do from a COVID protocol perspective.”
McLaughlin said the team did an “excellent job following COVID-19 protocols,” including since the team arrived in Indianapolis.
“We are heartbroken for our student-athletes, coaches, campus community, and fans,” McLaughlin added.
“Our team earned the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament.”
McLaughlin said the team would not do anything differently.
“We did the right things,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s bad luck, it’s just terrible.
There isn’t anything we would change.”
Head Coach: ‘They knew how I am about this stuff…
It just stinks’
VCU Head Coach Mike Rhoades said the team was re-tested Saturday and went through contact tracing.
“I felt pretty good because we had enough guys,” Rhoades said.
“You could see that even though we were missing guys, the others wanted to play.”
While Rhoades called the decision devastating and heartbreaking and acknowledged “there were no dry eyes,” he said “we’ve lost two basketball games to this.
500,000 people have lost their lives.”
Rhoades also mentioned talking to former player Justin Tillman after he lost both parents.
“That was a much tougher conversation than the one I just had,” Rhoades said.
He said the team has been tested “every day for the past three weeks, but within the past 48 hours we’ve received multiple positive tests.”
“It has been a dream for all of us to play in the NCAA Tournament,” he said.
“We appreciate the care of our doctors and administration this year, and all our efforts and attention will be put into our players at this time.”
The coach noted that these are the first positive COVID-19 tests his team has had all season.
“They followed protocol.
They knew how I am about this stuff,” Rhoades said.
“We just got stuck here in the past 24 hours.
It just stinks.”
Rhoades said there was “no one person to blame” and that “we’re all in this together.”
He also said he would not question the decision of the Marion County health department, who ultimately said it was too risky to play.
“No matter what time of the year, when you have multiple positives like we did, there’s going to be issues,” Rhoades said.
VCU followed Atlantic 10 Conference, University and Virginia Department of Health guidelines to prioritize the safety of student-athletes, coaches, and staff as well as the VCU community, according to school officials.
The positive players will return to Richmond via land transportation and go straight into isolation, according to McLaughlin.
A-10 commissioner on VCU: ‘Disappointing and heartbreaking’
Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V.
McGlade called the decision to prohibit VCU from competing disheartening.
“This is tremendously disappointing and heartbreaking for the student-athletes who’ve worked so hard for this opportunity,” McGlade said.
“During this pandemic, the medical advisory boards have the authority to make this decision for the safety and welfare all of the student-athletes, staff and teams.
VCU has had an outstanding year, and this setback does not diminish any of their accomplishments.”
Stay with WTVR.com and watch CBS 6 News for complete coverage of this developing story.
VCU basketball VCU basketball
Sat, 20 Mar 2021 16:00:00 -0700
Virginia Commonwealth is out of the NCAA Tournament before its first game due to COVID-19 protocol
Oregon, its opponent, will advance
The scenario NCAA Tournament officials have long feared has occurred.
The first-round game between Oregon and Virginia Commonwealth was called off three hours before it was supposed to begin Saturday night and VCU is out of the men’s tournament after “multiple positives” within the last 48 hours.
VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin wouldn’t say how many of the Rams have tested positive for COVID-19, but said the team had hoped it would still be allowed to play because it had at least the minimum five players required to start a game.
“The feeling of the committee that was communicated to me was that, given how we had a few happen in a short period of time, there was certainly concern not only for the rest of our team, but for opponents and anyone else who’d be part of the game going forward,” McLaughlin said.
“What we have come to understand with it is the multiple positives within that 48-hour window was what gave the health department folks cause for concern,” McLaughlin added.
Though McLaughlin said he has no idea where the outbreak began, CBS Sports reported that VCU stayed in the same hotel for last weekend’s Atlantic 10 title game as the officiating crew, which included Roger Ayers.
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Ayers tested positive for COVID after arriving in Indianapolis for the NCAA men’s tournament, and John Adams, the former NCAA coordinator of officials, said Saturday that Ayers is at home “holding his own.
“No better but no worse,” Adams said on Twitter.
“Please keep praying for him, his family and all who are trying to recover from Covid.”
Asked if Ayers could be the source of the VCU outbreak, McLaughlin said it was irrelevant at this point.
“I’d hate to speculate in any way shape or form of who had it or who didn’t have it.
I’d hate to speculate,” McLaughlin said.
“We’re just focused on moving forward at this moment.”
This is the second year in a row that COVID has brought an abrupt end to VCU’s postseason.
The Rams were minutes from tipoff against Massachusetts in last year’s A-10 tournament when the teams were pulled off the floor and the tournament canceled because of COVID concerns.
On Saturday night, the team was having its pregame meal when McLaughlin told coach Mike Rhoades that VCU was done.
“It was devastating, it was heart breaking.
No dry eyes,” Rhoades said, his voice thick.
“This is what you dream of as a college player and a coach.
To get it taken away like this, it was a heartbreaking moment in their young lives.
“It’s not what you sign up for right? But we’re talking about two basketball games.
There have been over 500,000 deaths in this country because of this virus.
Devastated as we are over a basketball game, two of them, a lot of people have it worse than us,” Rhoades said, pointing out that former Rams player Justin Tillman lost both of his parents to COVID.
“As hard as this is right now, it’s still a basketball game,” Rhoades said.
1 priority for me is to make sure our guys get healthy.”
VCU was trying to make arrangements to get the members of its traveling party who haven’t tested positive back to campus Saturday night, McLaughlin said.
The players who tested positive will be driven back to the Richmond campus, where they’ll isolate, McLaughlin said.
This has always been the fear for the NCAA, which has gone to great lengths to try and prevent the COVID-related cancellations that caused repeated disruptions during the regular season.
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments are being played in semi-bubbles, the men in Indianapolis and the women in San Antonio.
Teams are sequestered, allowed to do little more than practice, play and have team meetings.
Players and coaches are tested every day, and wearable technology allows health officials to check players’ proximity to each other for contract tracing.
Even before the tournament began, Virginia delayed its arrival in to Indianapolis because of a COVID outbreak.
Kansas was without two players in its first-round victory Saturday, while Georgia Tech was missing ACC player of the year Moses Wright in its loss to Loyola on Friday.
– March 21, 2021
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