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The Big East finally sees sense

Turns out punishing people who tried to follow your rules isn’t a good look.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Did you know there is a global pandemic on? I mention this because the Big East conference is apparently just now realizing that. You may also be aware, and spoiler alert if you’ve been out of universe for the last two years, that most places have vaccine requirements in place. The Big East is one of those places and most of their member programs are adhering to those requirements quite well, and effort for which they should be lauded.

Instead, the Big East has been forcing teams to forfeit games if they have too many Covid cases, even if the teams have been vaccinated and followed all the set out guidelines. If this feels stupid and self-defeating to you, that’s because it is. After awarding four losses to teams for games which they didn’t and couldn’t contest, the conference finally saw the light and changed their policy.

Per the conference:

“The BIG EAST Conference today announced a modification to its game cancellation policy for men’s and women’s basketball for the 2021-22 season. The adjustment was the result of the recent sudden and significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases nationally and within BIG EAST programs due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

Under the modified policy, a Conference game will be canceled in the event a school has fewer than seven scholarship players and one countable coach available for a game. The BIG EAST Conference Office will attempt to reschedule any such game(s) in accordance with parameters approved by BIG EAST Directors of Athletics.

In the event the rescheduling parameters cannot be fulfilled, the canceled game(s) will be designated as a no contest. To date, four BIG EAST men’s Conference games had been designated as forfeitures under the previous COVID-19 game cancellation policy. The forfeiture classification will be removed from these games, and efforts are now underway to reschedule them at a later date”

That means that DePaul, Seton Hall, and Georgetown have all had losses removed from their official Big East record. That’s not an insignificant development, as the Pirates figure to be in the thick of things this year and an extra loss could prove devastating when the pointy end of the season arrives. For Georgetown it just means they actually have to go through the motions of losing now.