NC Central basketball has spent more time in quarantine than on the court

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the college basketball season rolls on, so do the postponements, cancellations and schedule changes for programs across the country, leaving many people wondering if the risk of COVID-19 is worth the reward.

"I think we're a victim of our own circumstances right now," said NC Central head coach LeVelle Moton. "I think we're so far down the road that the teams that are having really good years are going to say let's keep this going and the teams that aren't having good years they're going to say well the only reason they want to stop is because they aren't having a good season. Winning matters so much in our profession that morally the compass gets lost and that's always when the problem with our game."

The Eagles have been affected by COVID-19 on three occasions. They have had eight games canceled or postponed and haven't played a game since December 12.

Moton said they've spent more time in quarantine than they have practicing.

"They went absolutely stir crazy," Moton said. "I understood it. It's human nature to interact with other humans. It affects our mental health. It affects our play. I feel for all of our players who have to go sit and watch other people play. It's really, really difficult. We're trying to get back at it and hopefully, we can get this thing headed in the right direction."

NC Central is a limited-resource institution, therefore Moton said he believes the pandemic is affecting his team more so than those at Power 5 schools.

"The Power 5 schools, they can kind of avoid it," he said. "They're going to be touched, but they can kind of avoid it because they have the money and the resources to house those kids individually. So now, if one kid catches, he just can't play but everyone else can continue. When you have a dorm and a quad and there are four roommates automatically, the contact tracing goes back and if two people catch it ,you're essentially affecting eight people. That's how it bites you and that's the difference between us and the Power 5 schools at this point."

Moton said he's been open with his players and told them if they wanted to stop playing he would be supportive -- but as of now, his team wants to keep playing.

"I think we're so far down the road that we're just going to move forward with what's happening because of the NCAA," Moton said. "It's no secret how much they benefit by having the NCAA tournament. There's a lot of money involved and at the end of the day, this is a business."

Over in Raleigh, NC State is experiencing similar issues. The men's team has had seven games postponed or canceled this season and as of Monday, five members of the program are in quarantine because of COVID-19 protocols.
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