VCU basketball 2021 39;Multiple positive39; COVID.19 tests doom
VCU basketball VCU basketball 'Multiple doom COVID-19 positive' tests
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
Saturday's scheduled first-round men's NCAA tournament game between Oregon and VCU has been declared a no-contest because of multiple positive
Jeff Borzello explains why the Oregon-VCU game was declared a no-contest and what it means moving forward.
Saturday’s first-round NCAA men’s basketball tournament game between No.
7 seed Oregon and No.
10 seed VCU in Indianapolis was declared a no-contest due to what the Rams said were multiple positive COVID-19 tests within their program.
Oregon automatically advanced to the second round, where it will play No.
2 seed Iowa on Monday.
The Rams received multiple positive tests within the past 48 hours, coach Mike Rhoades said in a statement.
The team didn’t specify if the positive tests came from players or other team personnel.
It flew home late Saturday night, with those who tested positive traveling separately.
The NCAA said the decision to postpone the game was made “in consultation 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,” the NCAA said in a statement announcing the no-contest, which came about three hours before the scheduled tipoff.
VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin said the Rams found out around 6:25 p.m.
ET that the game was off.
“We knew about the positives being confirmed today, and we were hoping through contact tracing we would still be able to play tonight, but obviously that did not happen,” McLaughlin said during a videoconference with reporters.
“This has all happened pretty quickly, in terms of the positives that we’ve had …
The feeling that the committee, from what was communicated to me, given how we had a few happen within the short period of time right now, there was certainly concern, not only for the rest of our team and for opponents and anyone else who would be part of the game going forward.”
The Rams arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday after playing in the Atlantic 10 tournament game against St.
Bonaventure, and hadn’t had any positive tests until later in the week.
“I want to make sure it’s clear.
This isn’t something where our team broke protocol and did the wrong thing,” McLaughlin said.
“We don’t know how this happened, but it certainly wasn’t bad behavior on our side whatsoever.”
In order to get into the NCAA tournament’s controlled environment in Indianapolis, teams had to show seven consecutive days of negative COVID-19 tests.
Once in Indianapolis, teams would undergo daily testing.
NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said before the NCAA tournament that a team could continue playing in the tournament as long as it had five “eligible and healthy” players.
The NCAA tournament’s contact tracing and other COVID-19 protocols were expected to prevent a team from needing to withdraw due to one or two positive tests.
Because of that policy, both McLaughlin and Rhoades thought VCU would be able to play Saturday night despite the positive tests.
“We thought we were still going to have enough to play, but the county, the health department and the NCAA, the medical committee made a decision that we weren’t playing, that it was a no-contest and Oregon was going to move on and we were done,” Rhoades said.
“I felt pretty good because we had enough guys, right? As long as you have five guys you can play,” Rhoades later added.
“I was going up and down the hallway and saying, we’re like a wounded animal, we’re like a wounded animal.
You don’t want to go against a wounded animal.
You could tell, even though we were missing some dudes, the guys wanted to play.”
However, NCAA spokesman David Worlock wrote in an email to The Associated Press: “With potential risks to all involved in the game, we could not guarantee or be comfortable that five or more players would be available without risk.”
This is the second year in a row VCU has seen its season end shortly before tipoff.
Last season, the Atlantic 10 tournament was canceled minutes before the Rams were set to face UMass in the first round.
“It just stinks,” Rhoades said.
“I can’t sugarcoat it.”
This marks the first NCAA tournament game canceled or declared a no-contest due to COVID-19 issues.
The NCAA made Tuesday night its deadline for replacement teams to enter the field; no teams had issues at that time.
The Rams were forced to stop practicing or playing on Jan.
2 because of a positive COVID-19 test within their program, forcing a game against Davidson to be postponed.
They resumed practice two days later and made it through the rest of the season without further problems.
Led by Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Bones Hyland, VCU finished second in the conference in the regular season and lost to St.
Bonaventure in the A-10 title game.
But its body of work, which included a season-opening win over Utah State, was enough to earn Rhoades’ team an at-large berth to the tournament.
VCU entered the tournament as a 600-1 long shot at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
Bets on the Oregon-VCU game were being refunded, but futures bets on the Rams, including the odds to win the tournament, remained in action at most sportsbooks.
Oregon head coach Dana Altman congratulated VCU “on an outstanding season” in a statement Saturday.
“We hate to see a team’s season end this way after all the hard work these student-athletes have put in,” Altman said.
“This isn’t the way we wanted to advance, but we are excited to be moving on and we will start our preparation for Monday’s game.”
ESPN’s David Purdum and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
– March 21, 2021
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