Texas is now at over 1.54 million COVID cases, with the pandemic affecting communities of color at an alarming rate. The state’s figures apparently include all 15 members of the Houston Cougars sixth-ranked men’s basketball team. According to head coach Kelvin Sampson in a media call on Thursday, every single one of his players has contracted the virus at one point.
“The last time that I saw these kids in a game was Nov. 29,” he said. “This is unprecedented, man.”
According to Yahoo, Sampson says that the team has only practiced with six players over the last couple of days. The team itself, which is 4-0, like that matters at this point, hasn’t played since Dec. 5, and they’re likely not returning to action until closer to Christmas at best. Sampson also said that Houston does anticipate that return to come this Sunday against Alcorn State, pending the possible return of 2-of-3 players, leaving the roster at 8-or-9.
In that same breath, and in the same week where we’re still cautiously hoping for the best Keyontae Johnson updates possible, Louisville head coach Chris Mack said 90 percent of his team had so far contracted and recovered from the virus.
So, cool that they recovered, but we’re still learning the long-term effects of what this virus could do to anyone. There’s nothing new to say that hasn’t been said already regarding the recklessness of the NCAA endangering college athletes (and, by the way, staffers, coaches, and more) by continuing to play in games in red zones across the country. All there is to say is that we clearly haven’t yet learned or don’t care about what the future could hold for kids who are not being paid, risking their long and short-term health for the NCAA to bring in a continuous profit. If the college basketball season completes through March Madness of 2021, whatever is left won’t be worth it.
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski had a thought last week on the situation:
It took Coach K a lot of words to say “the NCAA has no plan,” but he’s right.