Duke cancels remainder of non-conference men's basketball games due to COVID-19 concerns

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Duke University announced it will be canceling the remainder of its nonconference regular-season basketball games for the 2020-21 season out of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Blue Devils were originally scheduled to play against Charleston Southern on Saturday, Dec. 12, but has since been postponed. Additionally, the men's basketball game against Gardner-Webb scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 has also been canceled.

A day before the announcement, five-time championship-winning men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski questioned playing basketball during the pandemic, calling for the NCAA to acknowledge the physical and mental well-being of the student-athletes.
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Five-time championship-winning coach Mike Krzyzewski said that the idea for everyone to start on November 25 wasn't well-planned. The goal, according to Krzyzewski, was to get in as many games as possible.

"This is the best decision we could make as a program, in making sure that we are doing the right thing for our players," Krzyzewski said in a Thursday statement. "This will also allow our team to have time over the holidays to safely enjoy with their families. These kids need to be with their families, at least for a little bit. So we will play the Notre Dame game on December 16, and then allow our team four or five days at home before returning here to prepare for the remainder of our ACC schedule - and hopefully get to play all of them. These kids go through so much, and we need to take care of them."

As the holidays approach, the sports program said student-athletes have had limited to no in-person contact with their immediate family since returning to campus in August.

The Blue Devils will return to games on Wednesday, Dec. 16 for the ACC opener at Notre Dame starting at 9 p.m.

The video used in this article is from a previous story, stay tuned for updated footage.
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