No planned changes for Northwestern athletics despite coronavirus concerns


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Chris Collins, Jim Phillips and Brian James sit at a basketball game. Northwestern has decided to play its weekend game despite the coronavirus.

Charlie Goldsmith, Sports Editor

COVID-19 News

Despite uncertainty on Northwestern University’s campus surrounding COVID-19 and the school’s recent cancelation of the annual Dance Marathon event, there are no plans to cancel Northwestern men’s basketball’s home game Saturday against Penn State at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

A Northwestern athletic department spokesman told The Daily the department will work closely with the University to determine future plans for all athletic competitions.

“Any decisions about Athletics and Recreation events or travel would be made in lockstep with Northwestern University administration” the spokesman said. “At this time, no adjustments have been made but we continue to monitor the situation and will announce any changes should they become necessary.”

Two Division I universities announced Wednesday that they would not participate in games this weekend.

University of Missouri-Kansas City, which is coached by former Northwestern assistant Billy Donlon, will not play its road game Saturday at Seattle University. Chicago State will not play at Seattle University or at Utah Valley because out of precautions related to the virus. The school also cancelled its upcoming women’s home games this weekend.

“Chicago State athletics views our decision as a reaffirmation of our commitment to the well-being, health and safety of our student athletes,” the school’s athletic director Elliott Charles said in a statement.

After convening a group of senior administrators to lead Northwestern’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, the University canceled this weekend’s Dance Marathon. More than 1,000 students were expected to participate in the 30-hour event scheduled to begin Friday night.

“The decision was made in consultation with the University’s COVID-19 policy group and health professionals, and based on national recommendations about this rapidly changing situation,” the statement said.

There are currently no plans for Northwestern to cancel or reschedule any of the University’s upcoming athletic competitions.

The women’s basketball team left Wednesday afternoon for this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, and Northwestern has additional athletic competitions this weekend in South Carolina, Arizona, New Jersey, Ohio and Kentucky.

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