weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Chicago State might skip Las Vegas WAC tourney due to coronavirus

Updated March 4, 2020 - 12:16 pm

The Chicago State University men’s and women’s basketball teams are considering not traveling to Las Vegas next week for the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

The school announced Tuesday it will not not travel for two regularly scheduled WAC men’s games this week, and its women’s team will not host two games, citing the spread of the coronavirus.

Also, the league announced Wednesday that Missouri-Kansas City will not play its last regular-season game.

Chicago State officials said in a statement that the school was making the move with the “health and well-being of the campus community in mind.”

More news about coronavirus

The cancellations are believed to be the first by a major sport in the United States because of the virus.

Chicago State said it is also evaluating whether to attend next week’s WAC tournament at The Orleans Arena. The school said it would make a decision about participation later this week.

“While disappointed that the situation has evolved as it has, I fully respect the right of any member institution to determine what it believes to in the best interest of its student-athletes,” said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said Wednesday in a statement. “From a conference standpoint, the necessary adjustments will be made according to NCAA policy in order to bracket the conference tournament scheduled for March 11-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.”

The WAC also said it will monitor the coronavirus situation while working its member schools.

Chicago State said the men’s team would not travel to Seattle University in Washington or Utah Valley University for WAC games on Thursday and Saturday. The school also said the women’s team would not host Seattle or Utah Valley at the campus’ Jones Convocation Center on the same days.

UMKC will not host Seattle on Saturday.

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

Worldwide, more than 93,000 people have been infected and over 3,100 have died, the vast majority of them in China. The number of countries hit by the virus exceeded 70.

Virus clusters in the United States led schools and subways to sanitize and spread fears among nursing home residents, who are especially vulnerable. The number of the infections in the U.S. topped 100 and the death toll climbed to nine. All of the deaths were in Washington state, and most of them were residents of a Seattle-area nursing home.

Chicago State men’s basketball team is 0-14 in WAC play and 4-25 overall this season; the women’s team is 1-13 in conference and 1-26 overall. UMKC men are 7-7 and 15-14 overall.

The Associated Press contributed to this Report. Bill Bradley can be reached at bbradley@reviewjournal.com. Follow @billbradleyLV on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.