Arizona State was supposed to play Baylor on Wednesday in a two day tournament. The winner would play the winner of Villanova-Boston College.
Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19. Everyone else in the program has tested negative twice. Before the game, per David Kaye—Baylor’s Sports and Information Director for basketball and Assistant Athletic Director for Communications—Baylor would have everyone in their travel party test negative five times in six days.
Despite those precautions and testing regiment, Goodman reported this:
Arizona State is withdrawing from the Empire Classic due to medical concerns involving Baylor, per source. Sun Devils were slated to open with Bears. Still a chance ASU plays at Mohegan Sun with different matchups.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) November 23, 2020
Arizona State’s decision doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s unclear if this is a PAC-12 edict or someone outside of the basketball program is making this decision.
When the PAC-12 returned to basketball, they announced:
The Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee concluded in its updated recommendations that “the conditions for the resumption of contact/competition can be met by the institutions when antigen testing is available on each campus. We believe access to near-daily rapid point of care testing for contact sports will significantly improve our ability to prevent transmission of COVID during higher risk of transmission activities and reduce the risk of travel.”
Well, Baylor would be doing “near-daily rapid point of care testing” so I don’t understand how Arizona State can’t play the Bears.
Arizona State plays football. They’re not canceling games for one positive test in the PAC-12.
Arizona State has a giant student body. Their students seem in much higher risk attending class and living in Tempe than playing a team, Baylor, that would have five negative tests in six days.
Hopefully Baylor can find another opponent, or someone else can enter the field. The Bears should not feel obligated to leave this tournament. They’ve acted responsibly by wearing masks and having coaches distance from players as practicable as possible. It’s a good sign Drew is the only positive. And if five tests in six days isn’t enough, then what are we doing?
We should know more tomorrow. Hopefully that includes Baylor finding another quality opponent this week. Or hopefully someone in the PAC-12 or at Arizona State can stop this ridiculous situation. If Baylor is negative five times in six days, the game should happen.