COVID sports daily: Stanford vs. Cal game postponed, NBA changes protocols

Stanford men’s basketball’s game against Cal on Sunday will be postponed due to COVID health and safety protocols within the Cardinal program.

Coronavirus issues hit the Stanford team last week during the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu and have persisted. The Cardinal’s (8-4) scheduled championship game against Vanderbilt on Saturday was canceled due to health and safety protocols.

The rival teams are scheduled to meet again next at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Feb. 26 and are looking to reschedule Sunday’s game at a later date.

Meanwhile, the Bears arranged to face Arizona State at Haas Pavilion on Sunday at 4 p.m. in place of the postponed Stanford game.

The San Francisco 49ers signed punter Colby Wadman to the practice squad as an emergency in case Mitch Wishnowsky is not cleared off the COVID-19 list, according to reports.

Wishnowsky is the first member of the 49ers camp to land on the COVID-19 list and, so far, the only one this season. He will need to test negative twice before a possible return. Close contacts with Wishnowsky’s tested negative, head coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this week.

The NBA will change its health and safety protocols to shorten the period for which players and coaches who test positive. The isolation period for the vaccinated was shortened from 10 days to six days and applies to positive cases that are asymptomatic and COVID-19 testing data shows they are no longer at risk to be infectious, according to the NBA.

Despite the change that could lessen the impact of Covid outbreaks on individual teams, the NBA postponed Wednesday’s game between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat on Wednesday night — the 10th postponed Covid protocols this season.

The Heat had eight available players due to non-Covid related injuries and some Covid cases.

Cancellations are hitting the college football bowl season hard. Five bowl games have been cancelled and one re-arranged due to Covid issues. The Hawai’i Bowl between Hawai’i and Memphis on Christmas Eve was cancelled, as was the Military Bowl between Boston College and East Carolina on Dec. 27 and the Holiday Bowl between UCLA and NC State on Dec. 28.

Wednesday’s Fenway Bowl between Virginia and SMU was cancelled and the Arizona Bowl between Boise State and Central Michigan on Dec. 31 will be cancelled, too.

Central Michigan will play Washington State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 instead — with Miami dropping out of the Sun Bowl due to Covid issues.

Duke men’s basketball, in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season on the sideline, will have its scheduled game against Notre Dame on Saturday postponed due to Covid issues, the program announced on Wednesday. The Blue Devils had postponed its Wednesday game against Clemson.

As of Wednesday, more than 100 college basketball games have been postponed with more than 70 teams on pause to deal with Covid outbreaks.

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