Xavier's entire men's basketball team is vaccinated: Here's what that means for this season

·2 min read
Xavier Musketeers guard Paul Scruggs (1) is introduced before the the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Morehead State Eagles, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, at Cintas Center in Cincinnati.
Xavier Musketeers guard Paul Scruggs (1) is introduced before the the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Morehead State Eagles, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, at Cintas Center in Cincinnati.

This week a wave of COVID-19 cancellations and pauses have stormed through college basketball.

Two Big East Conference teams – Seton Hall and DePaul – are currently on pause and have had games canceled.

Seton Hall's already been issued a forfeit in its game against St. John's that was scheduled for Monday.

That means Seton Hall will be issued a loss and St. John's will be awarded a win, in accordance with a conference policy the league instituted for this season that states "that if a conference game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to an insufficient number of available players (including as a result of COVID), that team shall be deemed to have forfeited with a loss assigned to that team. A win will be assigned to its opponent. The win and loss will be applied to the league standings."

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That Seton Hall loss and the St. John's win won't go on their team sheets that the NCAA Tournament selection committee uses to determine the field, but those results will impact conference standings and seeding for the conference tournament.

Xavier head coach Travis Steele addressed this Friday during a press conference ahead of the Musketeers' Big East opener on Saturday against Marquette.

"To this point, we've had no issues, we haven't had any positive (COVID) tests," said Steele. "Everybody's vaccinated on our team and our program as well, everybody that's around our program.

"We haven't tested, you know, because everybody's vaccinated. Now, if somebody has symptoms, then we do test them for it, right? So like in New York, we had some guys go down (with illness), so we didn't know if it was COVID. We didn't know if it was the flu. What was it a virus? A bug? So you test people when there are potential symptoms ... of COVID-19. Just to be safe, because we want to keep everybody safe."

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It's a drastic change from what Xavier did last year, a season in which the Musketeers had to pause their season on three separate occasions due to COVID-19.

"Last year we tested every day. Symptoms. No symptoms. You were testing," said Steele. "We're not there right now. I'm sure the NBA and NFL if you read up on articles, they're changing their protocols probably as we're having this conversation right now. We'll deal with whatever's in front of us."

Steele added that in the event Xavier would have a breakthrough case where someone in the program exhibited symptoms and tested positive, that person would be isolated from the team, but the team would continue playing without them until that person's cleared to return.

Big East policy states that teams must have at least seven scholarship players available in order to play.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Fully vaccinated: Here's what that means for Xavier basketball

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