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‘Roos men’s basketball won’t travel to Seattle for scheduled WAC game due to coronavirus fears

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Posted at 2:38 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 15:44:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state, the University of Missouri-Kansas City men’s basketball team has canceled its game Saturday at Seattle University.

The school announced the decision Wednesday.

"Kansas City Athletics is committed to the welfare and safety of our student-athletes," Kangaroos Director of Athletics Dr. Brandon Martin said in a statement announcing the decision. "Based on the current developments involving the coronavirus in Seattle, it is imperative for us to be proactive in regards to the safety of our student-athletes and men's basketball program."

According to the Seattle Times, there are 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 10 people who died, in Washington.

Earlier Wednesday, Chicago State canceled its men’s basketball team’s road trip this week to Seattle and Utah Valley.

The Cougars women’s basketball teams also canceled Western Athletic Conference home games against Seattle and Utah Valley.

“While disappointed that the situation has evolved as it has, I fully respect the right of any member institution to determine what it believes to (be) in the best interest of its student-athletes,” WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd said Wednesday in a statement. “From a conference standpoint, the necessary adjustments will be made according to NCAA policy in order to bracket the conference tournament scheduled for March 11-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.”

The cancellations are among the first for major sports amid the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Kansas City announced that it plans to participate in the WAC tourney next week, which the conference said will proceed as scheduled for now.

“The WAC will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and work with member institutions and local authorities to make any necessary changes to protect the safety and well-being of all involved,” the conference said.

The Kangaroos will travel Thursday to Orem, Utah, for an 8 p.m. tipoff at Utah Valley.

While the games won't officially go down as losses, the canceled games could impact seeding for the WAC tourney.

"NCAA policies declare them as 'no contests' but we will be considering them when setting the bracket for next week’s tournament," a WAC spokesman told 41 Action News.