As Lehigh announced today that Lehigh men’s and women’s basketball will be coming off of their COVID-19 related pause early next week, more teams at Lehigh started their pause. Baseball, swimming and track and field are now all on pause due to positive COVID-19 cases within the teams.
“We expect those programs will resume fairly soon with those team members who were not impacted by the individuals who tested positive,” said Joe Sterrett, director of athletics.
Lehigh men’s basketball games scheduled against Lafayette for Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 and Loyola for Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 were postponed after an individual in Lehigh’s Tier 1 program tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 2. Three days later, the women’s basketball games against Lafayette on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7 and Loyola on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 were also postponed after someone in their Tier 1 program tested positive on Feb. 5.
According to the NCAA, Tier 1 is the highest exposure tier and consists of individuals for whom physical distancing and face coverings are not possible or effective during athletic training or competition. Relevant individuals include student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff and officials.
While both basketball teams’ entire rosters have had to quarantine, Sterrett said baseball, swimming and track don’t have to because they practice together in small groups, while basketball practices as a team.
While both basketball teams are expected to play and finish out the season starting the weekend of Feb. 20, the Patriot League’s release said “League play continues to be contingent on the League and its member institutions being able to conduct competition in ways that protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staffs and their communities.”
The Lehigh men will be returning to action for the first time this month when they take on Loyola on Feb. 20 at Stabler Arena, with a trip to Loyola on Feb. 21. They will finish out their season against rival Lafayette on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28.
The Lehigh women will be also taking the court for the first time since Jan. 31 when they take on Colgate on Feb. 20 at Stabler Arena, with a trip to Colgate on Feb. 21. They will also finish out their season in style when they take on Lafayette for meeting No. 100 on Feb. 27 at home with a trip to Easton on Feb. 28. This is scheduled to be the last matchup for both teams before potentially reaching the Patriot League Championships.
“Two teams from each division will receive an automatic berth to the League championship based on their divisional record,” the Patriot League’s release said. “The two final teams will qualify for the tournament based on their overall League record. Non-League games are not considered for tournament qualifications purposes.”
Sitting with a record of 3-7, the Lehigh men’s basketball team is last in their division conference, while the women’s team is 6-4 and second in their division with the third-best overall record.