Santa Clara, San José State and Stanford adjust schedules and travel to comply with county Covid-19 health directives
With a coronavirus-related contact sports ban issued by the Santa Clara County Public Health early this week, Division I universities in the area scrambled to find accommodations for their winter sports programs outside of the county. The ban, which went into on Monday, Nov. 30, will last until Dec. 21 and comes after pre-existing rules for college and professional teams in the state and county, including prohibiting fans at games.
“Effective November 28, 2020, and continuing until 5:00 a.m. on December 21, 2020, collegiate and professional athletic programs are allowed to operate only outdoors, and only if athletes do not come within six feet of one another at any time; for clarity, all athletic activities that involve contact or close proximity are prohibited during this time.
Any collegiate or professional athletic team or program that travels outside the County to engage in athletic activity prohibited in the County is prohibited from engaging in further athletic activity within Santa Clara County during this time period. Any collegiate or professional athletic team or program that travels outside the County to engage in athletic activity allowed in the County must comply with the Mandatory Directive for Travel.”
The travel directive “strongly discourages leisure and non-essential travel, and requires persons entering the county to quarantine for 14 days upon return from travel of more than 150 miles.”
The following is a summary of how local DI women’s basketball teams have responded to the order:
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara has yet to play any games. On Nov. 22, the school announced that the team began a 14-day quarantine on Nov. 17 due to a positive Covid-19 test. As of now, the Broncos will open the season with a conference game at San Diego on Dec. 28. Both women’s and men’s teams are practicing in Santa Cruz.
From a school statement:
“Remaining nonconference games for both men’s and women’s teams will be announced as they are finalized.
We will strictly follow all health and safety guidelines of Santa Cruz County and the State of California,” said director of athletics Renee Baumgartner.”
San José State University
San José State began its season on Nov. 25 with a 56-48 win in Berkeley against the Pac-12’s Cal. Unfortunately for the Spartans, the next two games were canceled, a Dec. 1 contest vs. San Francisco and a Dec. 8 game vs. UC Irvine.
The next games on the slate: Dec. 13 vs. Pacific, Dec. 18 at Sacramento, and a two-game event Dec. 21/Dec. 23 vs. Utah State. The game against Pacific was initially scheduled to occur at SJSU but has been relocated to Pacific’s home court in Stockton. Pacific underwent a 14-day quarantine in late November.
An update on the games against Utah State has not been released.
Stanford’s schedule has undergone several changes since the start of the season due to coronavirus-related issues. The Cardinal opened the season with a home win against Cal Poly on Nov. 25. The next game on the schedule, a Nov. 29 contest vs. Pacific, was canceled due to the positive Covid-19 test in the Pacific program and the subsequent quarantine.
Stanford regrouped to schedule a game against San Diego for Monday, Nov. 30, a matchup that would have started a four-game homestand that also included two Pac-12 contests: Dec. 4 vs. Washington State and Dec. 6 vs. Washington, plus a Dec. 11 competition vs. UC Davis. The San Diego game was canceled due to the county’s most recent directive.
In another change, Stanford managed to add a game in Las Vegas at UNLV on Saturday, Dec. 5. Cardinal alumna and former assistant coach for her alma mater, Lindy La Rocque, is a first-year head coach for UNLV. In addition, Stanford’s matchup’s against Washington and Washington State will take place at UNLV. The Cardinal is temporarily relocating to Las Vegas until Dec. 21 for practices and games. The team arrived in Las Vegas on Dec. 2.
“I would like to thank UNLV’s administration and their head coach, Lindy La Rocque, for their flexibility in allowing us to use their facility and schedule Saturday’s game,” head coach Tara VanDerveer said in a statement. “I would also like to thank Washington and Washington State for their understanding and willingness to travel to Las Vegas, and the Pac-12 Conference for its continued support.”
The updated schedule (times PT):
- Saturday, Dec. 5 vs. UNLV 2 p.m., Mountain West Network
- Sunday, Dec. 6 vs. Washington 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, Dec. 8 vs. Washington State 1:30 p.m.
Across the Bay in Alameda County, Cal will compete against Washington (Dec. 4) and Washington State (Dec. 6) this weekend.
As of Dec. 1, the counties of Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz are all in the purple tier of the state’s risk level categories for coronavirus. Purple is the most restrictive level.