UConn women's basketball

There have been plenty of cancellations and postponements in NCAA men’s basketball ahead of its planned season start Wednesday, and NCAA women’s basketball is facing some of the same issues. One of the biggest impacts there comes from No. 3 UConn, which announced Monday night that they’ve paused team activities after positive COVID-19 tests and cancelled their first four scheduled games (including clashes with Quinnipiac and either No. 6 Mississippi State or Maine this weekend in the Mohegan Sun “Bubbleball” event, broadcast on FloHoops and ESPN platforms). Here’s more from UConn’s statement, which also knocks out their planned game against No. 5 Louisville on Dec. 4 and their Big East opener at Seton Hall on Dec. 6:

 The UConn women’s basketball program has temporarily suspended team activities after a member of the program tested positive for COVID-19.  Per university protocol, team activities will remain on hold for at least 14 days and will resume when it is deemed safe by medical professionals.

The Huskies will not compete on their first four previously announced game dates and any schedule adjustments will be announced at a later date. 

UConn is far from alone here. Louisville had previously announced Monday that their planned opener against Middle Tennessee State Wednesday wouldn’t be going ahead thanks to COVID-19 cases from the Lady Raiders. Here’s Middle Tennessee’s statement on that:

Middle Tennessee’s season opener against No. 5-ranked Louisville has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 test results and contact tracing within the Lady Raider bubble, Director of Athletics Chris Massaro has announced.

The Lady Raiders’ home contest against Vanderbilt, scheduled for Nov. 29, also has been postponed, Massaro said.

The Lady Raiders began regular testing earlier in November in preparation for the season. All test results had been negative but there were two positive results last Friday.

No makeup dates for the Louisville or Vanderbilt games have been announced.

And Florida A&M called off their whole season Monday:

The Florida A&M University (FAMU) women’s basketball team will not compete this 2020-21 season due to concerns with COVID-19.

The NCAA directed all member schools to provide student-athletes with an option to “opt-out” of competition this year due to concerns of the virus. In doing so, the NCAA will allow the student-athletes to keep that year of eligibility.
The Rattlers began preseason camp with a limited number of players on the roster. With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, it has been determined that moving forward would not be feasible.

“We are very disappointed but obviously we are taking concerns and circumstances within the women’s basketball program and COVID-19 very seriously. Student-athletes’ health and safety is and will remain our top priority,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha said. “The department of athletics and the University are committed to adhering to all COVID-19 protocols and making sure we keep every Rattler student-athlete safe.

“We will continue to support our student-athletes as the navigate these difficult times. We apologize to our scheduled opponents, as we know this will present scheduling challenges. However, we must keep student-athlete safety as our number one priority.”

Those are quite a few changes already, and there are more out there, including Albany and Siena both putting their programs on pause for the moment. We’ll see what’s ahead for the women’s college basketball season, but it seems unlikely these will be the last changes it sees.

[ESPN, photo from UConn Athletics]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.