The Duke women’s basketball program is canceling the rest of its basketball season because of COVID-19 issues, the team announced. The Blue Devils were off to a 3-1 start but had not played since a 73-49 loss to Louisville on Dec. 9 as the team dealt with COVID-19 issues.
“The student-athletes on the Duke women’s basketball team have made the difficult decision to conclude their current season due to safety concerns,” Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s Vice President for Public Affairs & Government Relations and Chief Communications Officer, said in a release.
The program announced on Dec. 16 that it was pausing team-related activities after two positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing. But an outright cancelation of the rest of the season for Duke would be the most significant yet in men’s or women’s college basketball. The Chicago State men’s program announced a similar measure earlier this week after an 0-9 start.
“I don’t think we should be playing right now,” coach Kara Lawson said after her team’s loss to Louisville. Her comments followed similar remarks from legendary Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski. The men’s program also announced that it would not play more nonconference games, though it only had one scheduled nonconference game left at the time.
The Duke women have played in 23 of the past 25 NCAA Tournaments and have made four Final Four appearances. Lawson is in her first year as coach after starring at Tennessee and then playing in the WNBA before spending last season as an assistant for the Boston Celtics.
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