As of Monday, the Utah State men’s basketball game against Wyoming, scheduled for Wednesday is on.
The Aggies are slated to host the Cowboys in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 6 p.m. The second of a two-game series between USU and Wyoming is set to take place Friday night.
In a season where anything can happen, the Aggies had their second game at Fresno State last Saturday postponed. The league office of the Mountain West Conference made the announcement about six hours before tip off.
“Due to health and safety concerns, the men’s basketball game between Utah State and Fresno State scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6, has been postponed,” the conference stated in an email Saturday afternoon. “Further updates and schedule adjustments by the Mountain West will be announced at a later date.”
The problem was with USU. However, The Herald Journal has learned the Aggies did contact tracing and felt they were good to go last Saturday night. Fresno State did not agree. Ultimately, the game was postponed.
When contacted for an explanation about decisions made to postpone games, Theresa Kurtz, an associate director for strategic communications, responded: “The testing and game cancellation link above explains the process. The league follows these protocols and listens to the medical professionals on each campus.”
A team doctor at Fresno State made the call on Saturday.
As far as the “link above,” Kurtz referred to, she sent The Herald Journal a link that contained the release sent out when the basketball season began explaining the Mountain West testing and game cancellation thresholds.
“All basketball competitions will be conducted in accordance with protocols developed by the Mountain West Health & Safety Advisory Committee. These procedures include testing each basketball program’s Tier 1 personnel (student-athletes, coaches, staff, support personnel) three times per week and continuous monitoring of the results.
“... A game could be postponed if an institution’s basketball program has fewer than seven scholarship players available to participate. The impacted institution has the option to play the game with fewer than seven scholarship players.
“Finally, it is recognized that state, county and local guidelines and virus circumstances shall always take precedence and may supersede conference thresholds or institutional decisions. In the event governmental parameters require a game to be canceled, it shall be declared a no contest.
“Games may be rescheduled or declared a no contest. In all cases, postponement and rescheduling of a contest will be decided by the conference in consultation with the participating institutions.”
The Aggie athletes were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday and again Monday. There were no positives, thus the game for Wednesday is on. USU will be tested again on Thursday this week.
Who tested positive in Fresno, California, that caused the game to be postponed is not being released.
Fresno State had the second game at Boise State postponed last month. That game has been rescheduled for March 4. USU has not been told when its second game with the Bulldogs will be played. The Aggies won the first game, 69-53.
“The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone,” Kurtz said in an email. “The league office continues to work with the membership to reschedule as many games as possible. The pandemic has taught the league and its members to be flexible, nimble and willing to pivot at any given time.”
USU is atop the MW standings, a half game ahead of Colorado State and a full game up on Boise State.