The Virginia men’s basketball team was rocked by a positive COVID-19 test last week.
The virus popped up within the program, and the positive test plus contact tracing protocols knocked Virginia out of the ACC Tournament. On the bright side for the UVa athletic department, most of the COVID-19 testing last week returned promising results.
UVa’s athletic department shared its latest COVID-19 testing update Monday, and of the 1,481 COVID-19 tests administered from March 8-14, only one came back positive. The school did note that tests administered by the ACC or the NCAA for their championship events were not included in their reporting numbers.
The individual who tested positive for the virus must self-isolate for 10 days, while close contacts must self-quarantine for at least seven days.
Virginia’s athletic teams will attempt to avoid contracting COVID-19 this week as they also embark on a busy and important week of competition.
Swimming and diving set for NCAAs
The men’s basketball team isn’t the only UVa program gunning for a national title.
A year after missing out on the NCAA Championships last season, the Virginia women’s swimming and diving team starts NCAA Championship competition Wednesday. The championships go through Saturday.
“I think that it being canceled has definitely motivated them this entire year,” Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo said Monday. “It’s motivated them to be disciplined and committed to COVID protocols and mask wearing and social distancing and everything that goes along with that to make sure they stay healthy throughout the competition.”
Virginia enters the event as the No. 1 team in the nation, according to the latest College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America top 25 poll. The Wahoos fully expect to contend for the program’s first national championship.
DeSorbo shared Monday that he hopes his team stays in the moment and enjoys the races. He believes the team can take home the title, but he doesn’t want them to force it. The Cavaliers spent all year training for this week, and he hopes his team enjoys it.
“This meet is a year in the making,” DeSorbo said.
ACC eliminates transfer rule
The ACC has eliminated its intraconference transfer rule, the league announced Monday. The rule required scholarship athletes who transferred from one ACC school to another ACC member school to complete two semesters or three full quarters of academic work at their new institution before being eligible to compete.
An exception for graduate transfers was included in the original rule.
The ACC’s Board of Directors unanimously agreed to eliminate the rule, which was created in 1996.
“The time has come for all student-athletes to have the opportunity to transfer and be permitted to compete immediately,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “This decision is in the best interest of our student-athletes as it allows greater flexibility during their collegiate career.”
Men’s basketball rankings
The Virginia men’s basketball team checked in at No. 15 in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll, which was released Monday. The Cavaliers improved one spot from last week.
Florida State paced the ACC as the nation’s No. 14 team. Virginia and Florida State both earned No. 4 seeds in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Virginia Tech, which rounded out the poll at No. 25, was the only other ACC team ranked. Georgia Tech and Clemson also received votes.
Leitao out as DePaul coach
After finishing last in the Big East for five consecutive seasons, DePaul moved on from head coach Dave Leitao on Monday. Leitao coached DePaul for three seasons in the early 2000s before becoming the head coach at Virginia ahead of the 2005-06 season. He returned to DePaul for the 2015-16 season.
Leitao preceded current Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, going 63-60 in four seasons with the Cavaliers.
In Leitao’s most recent stint with DePaul, he went 127-147 in six seasons. DePaul went 51-103 in Big East games during that time.
“After evaluating where our men’s basketball program is currently and where we envision it to be moving forward, a decision was made to make a change in the head coaching position,” DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy said in a statement.