The DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball team announced on Thursday that it is canceling its first three games of the season and temporarily pausing activities because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Tier 1 group and subsequent quarantines.
DePaul previously was scheduled to play on Nov. 25, Nov. 28, and Dec. 1. The Blue Demons are slated to face the Iowa State Cyclones in the Big East-Big 12 Battle on Dec. 6. Head coach Dave Leitao said in a prepared statement:
“We have been able to sustain a level of productivity while facing the COVID-19 pandemic during the preseason, but unfortunately as positive cases have been increasing all around us, we now have to deal with it directly in our program.
“The attentiveness and understanding of the situation by our players and staff have been a priority since we all returned to campus this summer. We’ll get through this together. We’ll return to the practice floor and competition after we complete all mandated protocols and procedures.”
Athletic director DeWayne Peevy added:
“We are disappointed the men’s basketball program will be unable to start the season as planned after all the hard work our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have put into preparing for these games. Flexibility and patience will continue to be paramount this season as we navigate these unique times. I appreciate the hard work and support of our medical staff and athletic trainers as they work closely with each of our programs to ensure a safe and healthy environment to study, train, practice and compete.”
DePaul is not disclosing the identities of any players or staff members who tested positive for the coronavirus. NCAA basketball guidelines recommend 14-day quarantines for Tier 1 individuals if any Tier 1 person within a team returns a positive test.
According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, over 20 men’s basketball programs have recently paused activities because of COVID-19 issues.