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On hold: COVID issues cause CU Buffs women to postpone trip

Opening weekend of Pac-12 play for Buffaloes postponed

 University of Colorado Boulder’s head coach, JR Payne, in the  Southern Methodist game during the December 17, 2021 contest in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
University of Colorado Boulder’s head coach, JR Payne, in the Southern Methodist game during the December 17, 2021 contest in Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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The Colorado women’s basketball team won’t be going to Oregon this weekend.

On Wednesday, CU announced that COVID-19 issues within the program have caused the Buffaloes to postpone games at Oregon State on Friday and at Oregon on Sunday. CU’s conference travel partner, Utah, will also postpone its two games this weekend in Oregon.

The Buffs (11-0) have not played since Dec. 20 and were set to open Pac-12 play Friday in Corvallis, Ore.

Instead, the women will remain sidelined along with the CU men’s team, which is dealing with COVID-19 issues of its own. The men were forced to cancel a Dec. 21 home date with Kansas and then postponed their own trip to Oregon this week. The CU men have rescheduled their game at Oregon, however, for Monday night.

Following a Christmas break, the CU women returned to practice on Sunday. The Buffs were off Monday and practiced Tuesday.

Per Pac-12 policy, a team can play if it has at least one coach and seven scholarship players available. It is unclear how many CU players tested positive for COVID-19, but through testing and contact tracing, the Buffs fell below the Pac-12’s required numbers Wednesday. CU’s players are all fully vaccinated.

With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus surging around the country, the Pac-12 last week revised its COVID-related forfeit rules for basketball. The Pac-12 had originally stated that teams unable to play would forfeit games. The new policy, put into place on Dec. 22, states that the Pac-12 will try to reschedule postponed games “while being mindful of student-athlete health and safety considerations.” Games that can’t be rescheduled will be considered a no contest.

As of Wednesday evening, 10 of the 12 originally scheduled games for the opening weekend of Pac-12 play in women’s basketball have been postponed. The only games still scheduled are in Pullman, Wash., as Washington State is set to host California on Friday and Stanford on Sunday.

For now, CU’s next scheduled game is Jan. 7 against Southern California at CU Events Center.

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