More basketball games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols
Fifth game canceled or postponed in three weeks
Five men’s and women’s basketball games have been canceled or postponed during the 2021-22 basketball season as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads across the country.
The American University women’s basketball team (7-3) has been hit hardest by postponements due to COVID-19. The Eagles’ game against Lafayette (5-6) Jan. 2 and Lehigh (9-3) Dec. 30 were both postponed because of COVID-19 protocols within the other universities’ programs, and AU’s contest against Howard University (5-6) Dec. 21 was canceled after the HBCU paused all women’s basketball activities.
The men’s basketball team has also had problems with COVID-19 impacting the team. AU postponed the men’s basketball game (4-9) game against Lafayette College (3-8) Jan. 4 due to COVID-19 protocols within AU, according to an AU press release. The Lafayette postponement is the second schedule change for the men’s basketball team this year. AU’s game against Siena College Dec. 28 was canceled due to multiple AU players testing positive for the coronavirus.
AU does not disclose how many athletes test positive for COVID-19, according to Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations David Bierwirth. Bierwirth said postponement or cancellation of games is determined by how many AU athletes test positive over a seven-day period, but did not say what the threshold for cancellation or postponement was.
AU and Lafayette are currently in talks to reschedule both men’s and women’s games, according to Associate Director of Athletics Communications Tommy Bennett, and a Lehigh press release said that AU and Lehigh were also discussing rescheduling.
AU, Lafayette and Lehigh are all part of the Patriot League, and according to Article 14 of 2021-22 Patriot League Policy and Procedures Manual, Patriot League games must take precedence over non-conference competitions, and if schools cannot agree on a new date, the Patriot League will make the final decision.
Bennett said the Siena game was canceled because the schedules of both universities did not match up, and the game was not as important as Patriot League play.
The men’s basketball team is still set to play Colgate Jan. 7 and the women’s basketball team is scheduled to face Colgate Jan. 5. Postponement of AU spring athletics is not under consideration, Bierwirth said.