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Spiders enter COVID pause for second time this season

Spiders enter COVID pause for second time this season

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Richmond coach Chris Mooney huddled with his players during a game this season at the Robins Center.

The University of Richmond men’s basketball program paused Tuesday because of COVID-19 testing results and contact tracing.

According to the school, “No decisions have been made related to any upcoming games for the Spiders.”

Richmond (9-3, 3-1 A-10) does not have a midweek game and is scheduled to play next against VCU (9-3, 2-1 A-10) at the Robins Center on Saturday at 1 p.m. (televised by the CBS Sports Network).

According to a UR spokesperson, whether the Spiders will be able to play VCU on Saturday will be determined by follow-up COVID-19 tests later this week. If a false positive is ruled out, UR likely will be required to shuffle the schedule.

This is the second time the Spiders have suspended operations in response to COVID-19 issues. UR missed its Dec. 2 date at the College of Charleston and a Dec. 5 home game against Furman, as well as nearly a week of practice time, because of testing results and contact tracing in the program.

No players tested positive during that December interruption, but five Spiders were affected by contact tracing. They were isolated with their meals delivered to them for several days, during which Richmond suspended all basketball activity.

VCU postponed its Jan. 2 game against Davidson in accordance with COVID-19 protocols, announcing the suspension that morning, and then announced on Jan. 4 that the Rams were resuming basketball activity.

Richmond’s Nov. 25 season opener against Detroit Mercy was scratched after a positive test in the Titans’ program. The Spiders’ A-10 opener against visiting Duquesne on Dec. 19 was postponed by COVID-19 issues in the Dukes’ program. Members of Division I programs test three times a week on nonconsecutive days, per NCAA guidelines.

CAA commissioner Joe D’Antonio may have summarized the perspective of college athletics administrators when he addressed the COVID-19 topic in a late-December Zoom call with media members.

“I have tried to approach this in a very pragmatic way in that we need to try to be as safe as we possibly can, but folks need to live their lives as well,” D’Antonio said. “That’s how I’m operating personally, as I’m sure many of you are. I have to go to the grocery store to get food. I have to go to the gas station to get gas. I’m not going a ton of other places.

“Unless we’re going to just completely shut everything down and we’re going to ask people to operate in a complete bubble and isolation, I do think it’s prudent to be going forward in a very calculated … way.”

Approximately 20 Division I programs, including A-10 member Saint Louis, currently are paused because of COVID-19 issues.

joconnor@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6233

@RTDjohnoconnor

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