Gators men’s and women’s basketball games postponed due to COVID-19 related issues

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 11:34 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - For players and fans it may feel like deja vu.

Both Florida Gators Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are postponing games in Mississippi due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

UF Assistant Athletic Director Denver Parler, said the next step is to hopefully schedule a make-up game, but if they can’t it will be declared a no contest.

“This is their passion this is what they love to do and it’s all being taken away,” said Zuriel Reed, gator fan.

This halt comes one week after the SEC released it’s new COVID-19 safety rules, loosening prior restrictions.

Before this new policy, teams had to forfeit if they couldn’t play because of COVID related issues.

“So now at least they’re gonna give teams a chance to do the game again at some point I think that’s the right move,” said TV 20′s Gator Insider Steve Russell.

The new rules now allow teams to play, as long as they have seven scholarship athletes and one coach available.

But one team being shorthanded doesn’t stop their opponent from hitting the court at full strength.

“There’s nothing that says the other team has to be the same level as you, so you might go out there very undermanned,” said Russell.

Hours after the men’s basketball game was postponed, the women’s basketball team found themselves in the same boat.

Their Thursday game at Mississippi State is on hold due to COVID issues with the other team.

Russell said these delays could affect the team’s chemistry in a season that was so hopeful at the start.

“It’s really a shame because both teams got off to pretty good starts the men are 9-3 the women are 10-3, this is their best start in a really long time.”

Russell said he feels interim coach Kelly Rae Finley has done a nice job stepping in as the women’s basketball coach.

“You’re just starting the SEC, your opening game of the SEC, and boom you get canceled, that sets you back and now you have to regroup again, but that’s what coaches get paid to do they’ll regroup these teams.”

Assistant Athletic Director Parler said a make-up date is in the works.

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