Dayton Flyers men’s and women’s basketball teams see Atlantic 10 opener postponed

“You’re not going to make me make too many predictions,” said Sullivan, “but our team was ready to play on Thursday and we are ready to play on Sunday.”

The Dayton men resumed training on Monday, six days after a 69-60 victory over Southern at UD Arena, and trained again on Tuesday. The Flyers (8-5) ended their non-conference season without postponement.

Five of the seven men’s A-10 games scheduled for Thursday have been postponed. Also reported: George Mason in Virginia Commonwealth; Duquesne to Davidson; and Saint Louis, Massachusetts. There are only two games left: Saint-Joseph in Richmond; and Fordham at La Salle.

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Three other women’s games were postponed Saturday: Fordham to Davidson; George Mason at UMass; and VCU at La Salle. The Mid-American Conference announced Tuesday that four games scheduled for Wednesday, including Miami’s vs Ohio, have been postponed.

The A-10 announced these and other postponements while updating its COVID-19 package policy. Instead of automatic packages, it will now allow matches to be rescheduled. This was the case last season when no men’s team played a full 18-game schedule and one team, George Washington, only played eight A-10 games. League champion Saint-Bonaventure finished 11-4, while second-place VCU was 10-4.

Here is the updated policy: “As part of the revised A-10 COVID policy, matches that cannot be played due to positive COVID-19 tests will be postponed and attempted to be rescheduled by the conference office. Atlantic 10. If an appropriate rescheduling date cannot be found, the game will be declared without a competition. The conference standings and the championship standings will be based on an approved formula balancing the team’s win-loss records with the total number of competitions completed. If a team chooses not to play the rescheduled match, the match may be forfeited by the league office. In addition, the conference also revised an earlier policy requiring teams to complete conference games. The review requires that teams that have seven available scholarship student-athletes and a countable coach participate in all conference contests. Teams may also participate with less than seven student-athletes available. If a team chooses not to play, despite having seven scholarship student-athletes and a coach, that team will incur a forfeit and loss in the league standings, and the opposing team will win a victory by forfeit.

The Atlantic 10 followed the lead of other conferences by deciding to try to reschedule matches.

The Big Ten conference also updated its COVID-19 policy on Tuesday: “If a team or teams are / are unable to participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19,” the league said, “and therefore, the competition cannot take place on the calendar day it is scheduled, the competition will not automatically be considered as a forfeit. After review and approval by the conference board, in consultation with participating institutions and Big Ten’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. James Borchers, the competition may be rescheduled, declared without competition, or canceled. The conference office will be responsible for rescheduling any conference competition postponed due to COVID-19. “

While Sullivan has said he doesn’t want to speak for the conference, from Dayton’s perspective he likes the idea of ​​keeping the schedule in place this year and not finding last-minute replacements. In other words, rather than playing one of the other A-10 teams available this Thursday, he would rather find a new date for the Rhode Island game later this season. January 25 and February 16 would be the most likely dates Dayton could reschedule the Rhode Island game.

“I think last year with the number of games that have been mixed and matched and moved, I don’t really find it as tenable this year,” Sullivan said. “It was a little easier to do that without fans. You’re just playing in an empty gym. Home and away games didn’t matter as much. You start to have travel problems, to be able to get planes. Last year a lot of people weren’t flying yet. I think there is a different dynamic this year.

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The pandemic has sparked a wave of cancellations around college basketball in recent weeks. There are different testing protocols across sport. Jeff Goodman, Basketball Analyst at 125 programs surveyed and found that 42% (53 teams) tested the whole team after the Christmas holidays.

Dayton’s policy is to only test people who are symptomatic or when high-risk contact tracing is carried out.

“For the most part, we don’t just do random surveillance tests,” Sullivan said. “We’re in line with the NCAA’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group. This is the process that we follow.

This is the third consecutive season affected by the pandemic. Neither team from Dayton was able to compete in the NCAA tournament in 2020. Both teams’ schedules changed significantly last season, and the UD women’s team had to go out of business twice.

“I especially feel for the young men and women who have lived with this uncertainty and volatility over the past couple of years,” Sullivan said. “I’m sorry this continues for them. As a leader my job is to try to be confident and decisive and to chart a course for young people. But obviously our skills in predicting COVID, matches, and cancellations have proven ineffective to date. I regret that we cannot provide the clarity and vision for the student-athletes and fans that they expect. Our coaching staff in the men and women, I think they are part of the elite. They’ll keep our players locked into what they can control and try to keep our teams in combat conditions, so to speak. There are similarities to last year, and I think there are things that we are maybe a little more prepared for this year.