COVID throws kink in plans of ACC teams

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Associated Press

The Miami Hurricanes’ plans to play in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 appear to be uncertain at best, after the school announced Tuesday that its football program has entered COVID-19 protocols.

The Hurricanes did not say how many players or coaches are currently dealing with virus-related issues. The team was scheduled to resume bowl practice in earnest this week after taking last week off for finals.

Miami (7-5) is scheduled to play Washington State (7-5) in El Paso, Texas. Officials in El Paso said earlier this week that their city has seen a COVID-19 positivity rate of about 15% in the past week.

“The university remains committed to its goal of participating” in the bowl game, the Hurricanes said, “while ensuring the continued health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

Meanwhile, just as was the case with Miami’s women’s basketball team earlier this week when it had to take a forfeit loss against Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke because of virus issues, COVID-19 concerns at Georgetown and Boston College have caused both teams to suffer forfeits in their conference standings.

Boston College’s men’s basketball game at Wake Forest scheduled for today is canceled in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Georgetown’s game today at No. 22 Providence is also canceled in the Big East. The leagues announced the cancellations Tuesday. In both cases, the forfeits will count only in the league standings and won’t affect the overall record.

In the ACC, Boston College’s next scheduled game is Dec. 29 at home against Florida State. Wake Forest is also scheduled to play that day at Louisville, which paused team activities Monday due to multiple positive tests and had to cancel its rivalry game with No. 20 Kentucky.

In the Big East, Georgetown — coached by former Hoyas and NBA great Patrick Ewing — is scheduled to play next Tuesday at Creighton. Providence hosts No. 15 Seton Hall on Dec. 29. Elsewhere, Michigan said its game against Purdue Fort Wayne for Tuesday night is canceled due to protocols for the Mastodons program, while Grand Canyon canceled its game against Nevada on Tuesday due to COVID-19 protocols within the Antelopes’ program with no plans to reschedule.

Coppin State canceled two road games — Thursday against George Mason and Dec. 29 against Indiana State — due to positive tests within its program. The Eagles are due to return to action Jan. 8 at South Carolina State to open Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.

Memphis (6-4) is on a break after COVID-19 issues forced the Tigers to cancel last weekend’s game against then-No.18 Tennessee in Nashville with an announcement coming within 75 minutes of the scheduled tip time. Memphis also had to postpone Tuesday night’s scheduled game with Alabama State. In a statement, the school said it expects to resume activities Monday barring additional positive COVID-19 tests.

In women’s basketball, eighth-ranked Indiana said its Tuesday game against Wright State is canceled due to positive tests within the Wright State program. The game will not be made up.