RICHMOND, Va. -- The VCU Rams men's basketball team has lost the opening games to its 2020-21 season due to COVID-19.
"The Volunteer Classic, where VCU was scheduled to kick off its 2020-21 season, has been canceled after multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Tennessee program," the university released in a statement. "VCU is exploring alternative scheduling options."
The Rams were scheduled to tip-off Thanksgiving against Charlotte and play Friday against 12th ranked Tennessee. Both games were to be played in Knoxville, Tenn.
"You can’t get bent out of shape if someone calls and says ‘We can’t play,’ or ‘We’ve gotta stop’, or other teams in our league have to stop, and that changes your schedule," VCU head coach Mike Rhoades said. "That’s where you’re going to have to have some patience and understanding and go with the flow and do the best that you can with what you have.”
Tennessee has paused activities in the men’s basketball program with head coach Rick Barnes among staff, players and other personnel that have tested positive for COVID-19.
Barnes, 66, has entered isolation protocol and the program is following SEC, local and university health guidelines.
A release from the school said the positives were detected Sunday during routine surveillance testing conducted three times a week per NCAA and SEC guidelines.
The program will be retested Monday.