SFC Game Day

Stephen Haas/The News-Gazette Following pre-game shootarounds from both teams, Athletic Facilities Attendant Jeremy Watts is barely seen from the catwalk that hangs 85 feet above the court, as he moves a ladder to clean the backboard on the north end of Lou Henson Court about 3 1/2 hours before the scheduled tip off between the Fighting Illini and the Golden Gophers at the State Farm Center Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.

Listen to this article

DAYTON — The 2020-21 Illinois basketball season hasn't started, and there's already a change to the schedule that was essentially finalized earlier this week. Wright State announced Friday it would not travel to Champaign next week for Illinois' multi-team event because of depth issues related to positive COVID-19 cases.

The combination of players quarantining because of positive cases and designated close contacts as well as some injuries has the Raiders' program on pause. Wright State was set to play Illinois on Nov. 26 in addition to games against North Carolina A&T and Ohio.

"As we have seen this summer and fall with professional sports and college football, disruption is likely while competing in a pandemic," Wright State athletic director Bob Grant said in an official statement. "We must continue to hold the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches and staff as our top priority as we navigate through this current athletic landscape."

It is unclear what this mean's for Illinois' multi-team event and if Wright State can be replaced with less than a week before the event is set to start at State Farm Center. The Illini are still scheduled to play North Carolina A&T on Nov. 25 and Ohio on Nov. 27.

"We are currently exploring options to fill the opening in our multi-team event with the goal of continuing the four-team format as scheduled," an official statement from Illinois read. "We will share more information once we have a finalized contract."

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

Trending Videos