UMass men’s basketball pauses team activities following positive COVID test

  • Head coach Matt McCall watches a preseason practice at the Champions Center. CHRIS TUCCI/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/17/2020 5:02:41 PM

The UMass men’s basketball team paused all team activities on Tuesday following a positive COVID-19 test among its “Tier 1” personnel, according to a release.

Tier 1 personnel includes coaches, student-athletes, team managers and support staff. The result was detected during one of three weekly tests. Because of the pause, the Minutemen won’t participate in Bubbleville, a multi-team event scheduled for next week at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

UMass was scheduled to play four games in Pod 2 between Nov. 26 and Dec. 1 against Siena, Delaware, Iona and South Florida. Of that group, only Siena and South Florida haven’t interrupted their season because of positive tests.

An updated nonconference schedule will be released at a later date, the release said. This pause comes at a time when the school’s population at large saw a sharp increase in its total cases over the past week. Of UMass’ 315 confirmed positive cases between Aug. 6 and Nov. 13, 137 were recorded this past month.

The Minutemen were given strict COVID-19 related protocols when they began practice and moved toward the start of the season. Away from the court all players and staff where masks unless they are by themselves. UMass coach Matt McCall and his staff wear masks during practice. Initially, they had the players wear mask during practice as well, but they backed off that as the negative tests rolled in.

The Minutemen stuck to one coach, one ball and one basket initially before moving to smaller groups with no contact, then larger groups with no contact and the full team without contact before they could play five-on-five.

UMass was tested twice a week during its practice period, which moved to three times a week once the start of the season neared. The team and staff had been tested 28 times by Nov. 11 and didn’t have any positive cases.

“Our staff’s done a terrific job helping to maintain those protocols,” McCall said last week.

The UMass football team hasn’t had any positive tests and has played two games over the past month, quarantining after returning from each road contest.

Hockey season begins Friday at Maine for the Minutemen. UMass was supposed to play Vermont the next weekend, but the Catamounts delayed the start of their athletics season to Dec. 18 after the state saw a “significant increase in COVID-19 cases,” according to a release.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy