Big East cancels Seton Hall-DePaul because of COVID-19 issues

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The Big East announced that Thursday’s scheduled game between No. 15 Seton Hall and host DePaul has been canceled because of COVID-19 issues within the Blue Demons’ program.

According to conference policy, DePaul forfeits and is assigned a loss in the league standings. Seton Hall gets credited with a conference win.

It was a reversal of sorts for the Pirates (9-1), who had their previous two scheduled games called off due to their own COVID-19 problems. That included a non-conference matchup with Iona at Madison Square Garden on Saturday and a forfeit of its scheduled Big East opener Monday night against St. John’s.

Seton Hall hasn’t played since beating Rutgers on Dec. 12 and now isn’t slated to return to action until Dec. 29 at No. 22 Providence.

The surprising Blue Demons (9-1) also had a non-conference game canceled Saturday at Northwestern and forfeited their scheduled Big East opener Monday night against Creighton. They haven’t played since beating UIC on Dec. 14, and the hiatus will last until at least Dec. 29 at Butler.

DePaul athletic director DeWayne Peevy tweeted a statement saying the news was very disappointing and that the university and athletic department mandated vaccinations in an effort to create the safest environment possible. He goes on to say the school will do whatever it can to get the forfeits taken back.

“The current BIG EAST forfeit policy was put in place and was supported during a different phase of the pandemic and we will do everything possible to rescind the two losses on our record because we did everything possible to play this week, even if it meant dressing the minimum five players,” Peevy said.

Rutgers will reschedule Thursday’s game against Central Connecticut to a later date due to COVID-19 protocols and out of an abundance of caution. The Big Ten school’s game against Rider that was postponed on Saturday has been canceled.

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