Photo by Logan Stapleton
By Parris Clarke, Staff Writer-
The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team’s next two games have been postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within the team.
The two games in question are Wednesday’s game at ETSU and Saturday’s game at Furman — two crucial conference games that could shake up the Southern Conference.
The positive test came from within the team’s Tier 1 personnel, which includes student-athletes, coaches and essential support staff within the team. A second test will be conducted on the player who tested positive in order to ensure that the test was not false-positive. Further testing is also being conducted throughout the rest of the Tier 1 group.
The next steps on returning to play for UTC are to follow CDC guidelines along with NCAA and SoCon protocol for contract tracing and devising a plan on returning to play. That plan, presumably, will begin with the affected player entering quarantine.
Once the affected player is isolated, and contact tracing is conducted, assuming everything comes back clean, the team plans to continue practicing during this week.
This is not the first time the team has had to undergo a change in scheduling due to COVID-19. The season opener against Bellarmine, and game two against Northern Kentucky, both had postponed a couple of weeks.
This is, however, the Mocs’ first postponement or cancellation due to a COVID-19 diagnosis within their own team.
UTC isn’t the only team that has dealt with COVID-19 issues throughout the season. The pandemic has hit college basketball hard, culminating most notably when legendary Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski, called for a reassessment of the college basketball season back in December.
“I don’t think it feels right to anybody,” Krzyzewski said. “I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of players and staff to assess where we’re at.”
Hopefully, this is the last COVID-induced roadblock that the Mocs will experience this season.
The Mocs’ next game is scheduled for February 3 at Western Carolina.