COVID-19 cancels VCU’s opening games

COVID-19 cancels VCU’s opening games
VCU's Siegel Center will allow 1,000 fans for men's and women's basketball games this season. (Source: VCU Athletics)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU basketball was preparing to head to Knoxville for the Volunteer Classic at Tennessee this week. Now the Rams are searching for a replacement.

The event was canceled on Monday, after multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Tennessee program, including head coach Rick Barnes. A release stated that the classic was called off due to contact tracing.

VCU, which was set to face Charlotte on Thursday and Tennessee on Friday, issued a release of its own, saying that it is exploring scheduling alternatives. The Rams’ next scheduled game is Dec. 2 at Penn State.

So far, the black and gold have been successful in keeping coronavirus out of its locker room. Only one person within the program has tested positive since the team returned back in July, and that positive case occurred during that first month.

Rams’ head coach Mike Rhoades spoke to the media prior to the Volunteer Classic’s cancellation and acknowledged that now is the time to make sure teams are staying diligent in protocols.

“It’s changing. The numbers are surging,” Rhoades noted. “The only thing that we can do is control our day and make great decisions and keep talking to our guys about doing everything the right way.”

VCU is one of many college programs to have its early schedule altered because of the virus. As for teams in the commonwealth, Virginia saw its scheduled match-up with Florida canceled this past weekend. They were set to meet at the Bubbleville multiple team event in Uncasville, Connecticut, where the Cavaliers will still open their season on Wednesday against Maine.

Richmond tips off in the Bluegrass Showcase at Kentucky, while Virginia Tech hosts Radford, both on Wednesday.

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