Duke women ended basketball season amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Duke women’s basketball team ended its season last Friday amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations and Chief Communications Officer for Duke University, Michael Schoenfeld, said that the student-athletes on their women’s basketball team have made a difficult decision to end their current season due to safety concerns about the ongoing pandemic.

They supported their student-athletes’ decision as they have supported the choices made by all of them during this unprecedented time. Duke will maintain their planned competition schedule in other sports and will continue to observe their rigorous health and safety protocols based on guidance from leading medical experts, including testing for all student-athletes every day.

Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team planned to keep playing.

The women’s basketball team has been on cancellation since December 16 due to two positive coronavirus tests as well as contact tracing within the program’s travel party. The Blue Devils suspended games against UNC Wilmington and Miami, N.C. State. The team’s next scheduled game was against Louisville last Thursday.

The Blue Devils are the first Power Five team to stop playing after this season started. The Ivy League decided to drop out of playing winter sports in November before the season started. Some other schools also opted out of playing.

New coach Kara Lawson said that he didn’t think they should be playing that time. That was one day after Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski had been questioned why college basketball was still taking place a midst of the pandemic.

After a loss to Illinois on Dec. 8, Duke’s Hall of Fame coach said that he would just like for the safety, the physical and mental health of the players and the staff to assess where they were at.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many events to be canceled or suspended in the season. Countless teams have been on pause due to positives tests in their programs.