Michigan basketball game vs. Purdue Fort Wayne canceled
The Wolverines joined the growing list of college basketball teams to have their schedule affected by coronavirus.
Tuesday night’s home game against Purdue Fort Wayne was canceled due to “internal COVID-19 protocols” within the Mastodons program, according to a press release from Michigan.
"My first concern is for Coach (Jon) Coffman and his players," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said in a statement. "I have said many times that we are living in a new world and we need to continue to be safe and diligent with taking care of each other. While we are disappointed we can't play, we just want to make sure everyone is, and feels, safe and healthy."
The game will not be made up. All fans who purchased single-game tickets will receive a full refund.
This marks Michigan’s first cancellation of the season after the Wolverines had to postpone, reschedule and cancel numerous games last season, much of that coming during an athletic department-wide two-week shutdown.
With Purdue Fort Wayne no longer on the docket, Michigan will have to wait until Dec. 30 to play again — at Central Florida in the nonconference finale. However, it’s unclear if the Wolverines, who last played on Saturday, will try to schedule another opponent before the trip to UCF.
As cancellations and postponements have been picking up and impacting sports across the nation in recent weeks, Howard has continued to stress to his players the importance of following health and safety practices like he has since the start of the pandemic.
“My talks have always been consistent,” Howard said last week. “Before we've seen some of these games being canceled, programs getting shut down, campuses are again shut down, NBA teams are having players in health and safety protocols, NFL games have been canceled, I've always sent the same message.
“(Trainer) Chris (Williams) has always been consistent with his message. Nothing ever changes. Our guys are very in tune. We give them all the information that we receive. Everyone knows we're not out of the clear yet. There's no reason to have any type of lax because COVID is here and COVID hasn't gone anywhere.”
With the spread of the omicron variant and a nationwide surge in cases, sophomore center Hunter Dickinson said the Wolverines are constantly reminded by the team’s trainer to not let their guard down and be as safe as possible.
"Yeah, it's definitely something that's been brought up in practices," said Dickinson, who tweeted a sad face emoji before Tuesday’s game cancellation was announced. "Chris Williams has brought it up every day talking about making sure we're staying smart with our decisions out there. Obviously, you see the cancellations and the programs shutting down. I feel like every day I see a couple on Twitter, somebody is posting about a new school shutting down. You also see the NBA, NFL, NHL, all the professional teams, they're having trouble with it as well.
“It’s obviously something that we're seeing and we're being mindful of, but I think it's something that, me personally, I try not to worry too much about. I just try to stay as safe as I can and as healthy as I can.”