The college basketball season is set to tipoff at the end of the month as they look to navigate the uncertain path of conducting an indoor sports season without a bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic that is seeing record numbers of cases nationwide this week.
Schools and conferences have created guidelines and protocols to try and mitigate the spread of the virus, but as the NFL and college football have learned in recent months, even the best laid plans aren’t foolproof when it comes to a pandemic. On a day in which numerous college football programs in the SEC announced outbreaks that threaten their ability to play this weekend, we also learned that the virus has already reached the doors of one of college basketball’s biggest programs.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning and was feeling minor symptoms but was, mostly, in good health and spirits. Through the university he released a statement thanking fans for their support and hoping to offer yet another example of the power of the virus and the need for everyone to take every possible precaution — and how even then it can still be contracted.
— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) November 9, 2020
Izzo, who is 65 years old, will hopefully remain only mildly symptomatic and be able to make a full recovery, but it illustrates the dangers of starting a season in the midst of yet another spike in cases around the country, particularly as we see more gatherings of people around the holidays. There will undoubtedly be more coaches and players who test positive and the hope is that cases are limited as best they can and are not too serious or cause serious complications down the road, but this is just the beginning of a long and difficult journey for college basketball to stage a season.