PHOENIX (KTSM) — For the second time in the 2020-21 season, New Mexico State men’s basketball has had to pause all team activities due to a positive case of COVID-19 within the program, the university announced on Monday night.
Due to the positive result, NMSU’s first two games of the WAC schedule against Dixie State on Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 have been postponed. Make-up games will be announced at a later date, according to the school.
“While it’s very frustrating to pause team activities, our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff members is our top priority,” said NMSU head coach Chris Jans. “We are following all of the COVID-19 protocols put in place by NM State and the NCAA in order to maintain a safe environment while we prepare to return to practice and competition.”
The person who was positive must now quarantine for 10 days; all other players and coaches must quarantine for seven days, and the program is on an indefinite pause while the Aggies await more testing and potential results.
New Mexico State’s last opponent, CSU-Northridge, went on pause last week due to cases of COVID-19 within the program. As a result, the Aggies’ scheduled opponent over the weekend, UC-Riverside, canceled a pair of games with NMSU out of an abundance of caution.
The positive case within the Aggies’ team has forced the second pause in NMSU activities this season. Two cases discovered in early December forced NMSU to pause for 12 days, resulting in a gap of 27 days between games.
“We are one of many teams around the nation who are currently affected by this and we will follow all medical recommendations to ensure we’re able to get back on the court as soon and as safely as possible,” Jans said.
March 5-6 appears to be the target dates for the Aggies to make up their games with Dixie State. NMSU was scheduled to play Chicago State that weekend; however, CSU opted out of the season last month, and Dixie State does not have games scheduled for that weekend, meaning it’s a possibility the Aggies could make up the games then.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, NM State relocated from the state of New Mexico in order to begin its 2020-21 season. The Aggies set up shop at the Arizona Grand in Phoenix, Ariz., where they have been living, practicing and taking classes.