Just one week after starting official practices, the Marquette men’s and women’s basketball teams will halt activities for two weeks after two positive tests for COVID-19, the school announced Wednesday.
According to the MU athletic department, after 45 tests were conducted Monday, there was one positive test within each program. The teams will follow the NCAA’s guidelines with all “Tier 1” personnel – the players and coaching staff – quarantining for 14 days.
The teams can return to practice Nov. 4.
The timing is not ideal for the programs. While the teams’ official schedules have not been released, college teams can begin playing Nov. 25. So after returning to practice, the Golden Eagles will have three weeks to ramp up again before their openers.
“Our student-athletes and staff members have been doing a tremendous job in relation to following university and NCAA COVID-19 protocols and that effort has been reflected in our department’s low positivity rate,” MU athletic director Bill Scholl said in a statement. “The actions we are taking surrounding the basketball programs are a proactive measure aimed at stopping the potential for increased infection, with the health and safety of everyone involved our highest priority.”
Since Aug. 28, the school’s athletic department has conducted 809 tests of student-athletes and staff, with eight positive cases.
Official practices for NCAA teams began last Wednesday.
“We’ve been fortunate but you got to stay diligent daily, making sure you’re doing the best job you can to make sure you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way,” MU men’s basketball coach Steve Wojciechowski told the Journal Sentinel that day. “Now there’s no possible way to say we’re never going to have problems.”
The coronavirus has been raging in Wisconsin, especially on college campuses. Since school started in late August, MU has been forced to quarantine two student dorms.
“We appreciate our entire community’s efforts to help keep Marquette Athletics and our student-athletes healthy,” MU women’s basketball coach Megan Duffy said in a statement. “Despite the setback, we are extremely excited to start the season and look forward to being back on the court soon.”