COVID Forces Vols to Cancel First Two Basketball Games of the Season

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(utsports.com) After consultation with the Knox County Health Department, Tennessee has announced that its men’s basketball games against Charlotte and VCU, scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, respectively, have been canceled due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

Earlier Monday, the Tennessee program paused all team activities following multiple positive COVID-19 test results among its Tier 1 personnel, which consists of coaches, student-athletes, team managers and support staff. The positive test results were detected during routine COVID-19 surveillance testing, which is conducted three times a week in accordance with NCAA and SEC guidelines. Head coach Rick Barnes was one of those who tested positive for the virus.

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The basketball program is following SEC, local and university public health guidelines to prioritize the health and safety of all student-athletes and staff as well as the campus and local community.

Charlotte and VCU also mutually agreed to cancel their game that was scheduled for Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena as they both explore other scheduling options.

Tennessee’s participation in next week’s Jimmy V Classic in Indianapolis has not been ruled out at this point, as a projected activity-resumption date for the Volunteers will be determined following further monitoring.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.