Updated Oct. 12 at 12:41 p.m.
Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee announced Monday that both men’s and women’s basketball will begin outdoor practice Wednesday.
Initially set to begin Oct. 1, the start of the practice preseason was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the dormitory halls on campus. A two-week quarantine period was implemented and all on-campus activities, including those within the athletic department, were postponed. The campus was cleared on Saturday.
“We have learned some valuable lessons which I believe will help us going forward,” Fee said. “We will continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our players, coaches, campus and community when making any determinations for athletic activity.”
Per local and state health officials’ guidelines, no fans, members of the media or guests will be allowed at athletic events for the foreseeable future.
Dan Monson, men’s basketball coach, said that prior to the two-week campus-wide quarantine, the entire team had tested negative for COVID-19 twice, per National Collegiate Athletic Association guidelines.
Some players are still considering whether or not they’ll play this season, citing concerns about contracting COVID-19. A few assistant coaches, Monson said, who are immunocompromised have opted out of participating due to health concerns.
Starting Wednesday, players will begin with strength training and conditioning to determine their level of physicality after remaining inactive for such a long period of time, Monson said.
The men’s basketball team will be utilizing the tennis court for their outdoor practices. Each side of the court will be broken up into 10 players on each side, and further sorted by grouping together on-campus residents and students who live off campus.
“I wouldn’t want to be the administration right now, trying to figure out how to do practice,” Monson said. “[But] we just gotta make it to Wednesday to get them out on the court at least once.”
Updated Sept. 16 at 3:29 p.m.
The National Collegiate Athletics Association Division 1 Council voted to begin the 2020-21 college basketball season on Nov. 25 on Wednesday.
The decision comes five days after the men’s and women’s basketball basketball oversight committee submitted dual recommendations to start on Nov. 25.
With an official start date, programs may begin practicing 42 days prior per NCAA rules. Preseason would be slated to start Oct. 14.
Original story posted Sept. 15 at 10:37 p.m.
The Long Beach State athletic department announced Tuesday that the men’s and women’s basketball team have been approved to begin participating in outdoor activities at the end of the month.
Starting Oct. 1, both teams will be able to start practicing outdoors. Indoor activities are still not permitted at this time.
“We are hoping to get approval for indoor activity in the middle of October when formal basketball practices are likely to be approved by the NCAA,” Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee said. “As always, things may change due to COVID and current conditions.”
Public health officials, campus administrators and athletics administrators will continue to monitor local health conditions and modify plans accordingly.
Currently, fall and spring sports activities are still on hold. According to Fee, fall and spring sports activity start dates will be determined in the upcoming weeks.
Required testing for coronavirus and cleaning protocols will be in place when activity begins Oct. 1.
“We have some goals to maybe set up makeshift courts on the tennis court or in the parking lot,” Fee said. “We’re going to get creative with how we get up and running. It’s going to look a little weird, but we are going to make the best of it.”
The athletic department will utilize the student health center to assist in testing the men’s and women’s basketball team for COVID-19.
Update to follow.