Chicago State, UMKC cancel basketball games against Seattle U as precaution against coronavirus

Chicago State became the first Division I men’s basketball program to cancel games due to the coronavirus outbreak, announcing on Tuesday the decision not to travel to Seattle University on Thursday or Utah Valley on Saturday. 

The University of Missouri-Kansas City declared Wednesday the Roos men’s team would not travel to Seattle for its Saturday contest against the Redhawks. 

Ten of the 11 coronavirus deaths reported in the United States have occurred in Washington state, as the number of cases in the country has risen above 130. 

Seattle University addressed the cancellations in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday: “We respect Chicago State and Kansas City’s decisions and understand their concerns. We share a commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our communities, fans and all who attend university-sponsored events.

“Seattle University is actively monitoring and responding to this rapidly evolving situation and continuing to follow the guidance of public health agencies and make decisions based on the most up-to-date information available. There has been no recommendation to suspend campus operations, including athletic contests, or restrict travel in the United States at this time.”

In accordance with NCAA policy, WAC assistant commissioner for media relations, Chris Thompson, said the games will enter the official record books as “no contest.” For seeding purposes at next week’s conference tournament, the league will assign wins and losses. 

The league cannot force teams to play each other, Thompson said. 

“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 be in the best interest of its student-athletes,” WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd said in a statement. 

Seattle had been scheduled to honor its seniors during Saturday’s contest against UMKC, the final regular-season game of the year. 

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