UMass athletics pause threatens men’s basketball’s A-10 tournament eligibility

  • Matt Vautour

Staff Writer
Published: 2/7/2021 10:47:36 AM

All UMass athletics activities, both games and practices, were paused Sunday after the university altered its operational posture to “high risk.”

High risk means the number of cases are growing and there are prevalent signs of campus and community spread of COVID-19. It includes maximized public health measures to avoid all non-mandatory contact. The university recommends avoiding all nonessential travel outside residences. UMass recently allowed its freshman class back on campus for the spring semester.

The school increased its posture to “elevated” Friday.

The campus community showed a surging level of COVID-19 cases revealed at the school’s testing sites. The designation took effect at 2 p.m. Sunday and will be in effect for a minimum of 14 days. Only public health conditions improving “substantially” will change the designation.

The pause will impact 11 games. The men’s basketball team was scheduled to play three games over the next eight days. They’ve already had 13 games postponed or canceled this season.

The women’s basketball team had a game against George Mason scheduled for Sunday and didn’t play Friday because of a positive test in the George Washington program.

To qualify for the Atlantic 10 tournament, teams must have played a minimum of 13 games. The Minutemen has completed 11 contests and only has two more scheduled before the tournament begins. The Minutewomen have already passed the threshold at 15.

The hockey team was supposed to visit Northeastern on Tuesday, and likely would have played over the coming weekend, as well.

The men’s and women’s soccer programs were supposed to open their seasons in the next week.

UMass’ next scheduled games if the pause only lasts 14 days:

■Men’s soccer vs. Syracuse in Albany on Feb. 22

■Men’s basketball at St. Joe’s on Feb. 24

■Women’s soccer at Northeastern on Feb. 25

■Women’s basketball vs. VCU on Feb. 26

Hockey East is scheduling on a week-to-week basis. The Minutemen have played at least two more games than anyone else in the conference.

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