DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many cancellations and delays across all sports, including college hoops.
Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski has decided to jump into action for the sake of player and staff safety, which prompted the team to cancel its remaining non-conference basketball schedule.
Fortunately for Duke fans, that only takes away the team’s upcoming matchup against Gardner-Webb, which was rescheduled to take place on Dec 19. Additionally, Duke’s game versus Charleston Southern that was originally scheduled for Dec.12 was postponed due to COVID protocols at CSU.
That contest, along with a previously postponed game versus Elon, will not be rescheduled.
“This is the best decision we could make as a program, in making sure that we are doing the right thing for our players,” Krzyzewski said. “This will also allow our team to have time over the holidays to safely enjoy with their families. These kids need to be with their families, at least for a little bit. So we will play the Notre Dame game on December 16, and then allow our team four or five days at home before returning here to prepare for the remainder of our ACC schedule – and hopefully get to play all of them. These kids go through so much, and we need to take care of them.”
With strict protocols in place, including no fans or family members in attendance for games at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the University says student-athletes on the Duke men’s basketball team have had limited to no in-person contact with their immediate family since reporting to campus in August.
“By canceling the remaining non-conference games, the Blue Devils now have the needed flexibility in the schedule to have student-athletes depart and return to campus in a manner that follows Duke University’s campus protocols for travel,” a release from the school said.
Duke will return to action on Wednesday, December 16 for the ACC opener at Notre Dame. The game is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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