Syracuse halts basketball activities again after Buffalo player tests positive for COVID-19

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Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim
Syracuse has now paused activities for the third time in just six weeks due to the coronavirus. (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

For the third time in six weeks, the Syracuse men’s basketball team is on pause.

Syracuse announced on Monday that it halted all basketball activities due to an unnamed Buffalo player testing positive for COVID-19. The Orange beat the Bulls, 107-96, at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

Buffalo has halted activities, too, and coach Jim Whitesell is currently quarantining after he came into close contact with someone who contracted the coronavirus.

“We are using an abundance of caution in this situation, as we have throughout the pandemic,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said in a statement. “The health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff associated with the men’s basketball program is of the utmost importance to us.”

As a result, Syracuse postponed its game with Notre Dame on Tuesday. It is next set to take on Wake Forest on Dec. 30. Buffalo was supposed to play St. Bonaventure on Tuesday before taking on West Virginia on Dec. 29.

Syracuse’s constant COVID-19 battle

Though the college season isn’t even a month old, Syracuse has had some of the worst struggles in the country battling the coronavirus.

The Orange paused activities for two weeks after coach Jim Boeheim and an unnamed player tested positive in mid-November. Boeheim, 76, was one of several prominent coaches to contract the coronavirus — Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Baylor’s Scott Drew, among others, tested positive — though he said he did not experience symptoms and has since recovered.

The program had to pause again for three days in late November after a different unnamed player tested positive for the coronavirus, per the Associated Press.

Despite the frequent pauses, the Orange started its season 6-1. Syracuse’s lone loss came at the hands of No. 11 Rutgers in New Jersey earlier this month.

There have been nearly 18 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Monday night, according to The New York Times. The country is averaging more than 216,000 new cases and more than 2,600 deaths a day, and repeatedly set all-time records in both categories last week.

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