SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Orange men's basketball team is still set to open its 2020-21 season against Bryant on Friday.
Amid uncertainty around college basketball with the beginning of the season arriving, the Syracuse University Athletic Department announced that the team is moving forward with its opener against the Bulldogs at the Carrier Dome later in the week.
Multiple college basketball programs have postponed the beginning of their seasons due to COVID-19 outbreaks including Syracuse's ACC rival Duke, whose opener intended for Wednesday was put off, at least temporarily, due to a positive test from its opponent, Gardner-Webb.
Syracuse Athletics announced it remains intent on playing Friday through a statement that said:
"The Syracuse University Department of Athletics has worked closely with the Onondaga County Health Department, the New York State Department of Health, and the Atlantic Coast Conference to enact protocols appropriate to resume basketball-related activities and safeguard the health and wellness of our student-athletes, our campus, and the Central New York Community. These protocols include, but have not been limited to, robust testing of all members of the basketball program multiple times each week.
Coach Jim Boeheim has now completed his required 10-day isolation period and has returned to work. Further, all members of the basketball program have undergone multiple tests since Coach Boeheim and another member of the program tested positive for COVID-19. Over that period, no additional players, coaches, or staff associated with the men's basketball program have tested positive.
As basketball-related activities resume, we will remain in close contact with the Onondaga County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health, working together to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes and our Central New York Community."
The Orange have not practiced in the time since Coach Boeheim and one other member tested positive for the virus, team activities continue to remain on pause for the moment.
Syracuse Athletics has told NEWSChannel 2 that no spectators will be permitted in the Carrier Dome for Friday's opener, including students.
Tip-off is at 3 p.m.