After two positive COVID-19 test results within the Gonzaga men’s basketball program, today’s game between GU and Baylor in Indianapolis has been canceled. According to a joint statement put out in conjunction with both programs, of GU’s two positive tests that were reported this morning, one was from a staffer within the team’s travel party and the other was from a student-athlete who did not play in Wednesday’s matchup against West Virginia.
There was no elucidation within the statement as to which player or staff member within the GU program had tested positive.
Once the positive COVID-19 test results became known by both teams, they deliberated with their team physicians, the Indiana State Health Commissioner, and the Marion County Public Health director on how to proceed. The teams eventually agreed together that this much anticipated matchup between the No. 1 and the No. 2 teams in the country at the Jimmy V Classic should be canceled.
“We’re disappointed to not be able to play one of the most-anticipated games of the season, but we are following the advice of public health officials,” a joint statement between GU head coach Mark Few and Baylor head coach Scott Drew said. “ When we decided to play during a pandemic, our priorities were protecting the health and safety of student-athletes and following public health guidelines, and we’re proud of how both programs have held true to those promises.”
This is Baylor’s fourth canceled matchup of the year after Drew tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the season and forced the team to cancel their games scheduled against Arizona State, Villanova and Seton Hall.
GU hadn’t had any games called off due to COVID-19 prior to today’s matchup, but the team has had a total of four positive tests reported within the program this season. GU received two positive tests during their time in Fort Myers, Florida, with one of the tests coming from a non student-athlete within the team’s travel party and the other coming from a player.
In the contract for the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off however, it was explicitly stated that a few positive tests within any of the programs participating would not automatically result in game cancellations. Instead, two staffers in contact with the person who was not a student-athlete who tested positive were told to isolate and another student-athlete who was in contact with the student athlete who tested positive was instructed to isolate and neither player participated in GU’s second game against Auburn.
“We had people out for quarantine due to contact tracing, and then we had a positive test on an administrative person and we had a positive test on a player,” Few said at the Fort Myers Tip-Off.
GU and Baylor say that they are working on rescheduling the contest for later in the season and both teams have mutual availability in their schedules from Dec. 21 through Dec. 29, but neither a date nor a location has been confirmed.
"There are much greater issues in this world than not being able to play a basketball game, so we’re going to continue praying for everyone who has been affected by this pandemic,” the joint statement between the two coaches said.