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How Michigan Athletics’ Pause Affects Penn State

At least four Penn State teams will be affected by a university-wide athletics pause at Michigan, according to the university.

At this time, the following games and matches will be postponed by Michigan’s university-wide pause:

  • Penn State men’s basketball vs. Michigan, January 27
  • Penn State men’s hockey @ Michigan, February 3 & 4
  • Penn State track and field @ Michigan, February 6
  • Penn State wrestling @ Michigan, February 7

“Canceling competitions is never something we want to do, but with so many unknowns about this variant of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to minimize the spread among student-athletes, coaches, staff, and to the student-athletes at other schools,” said Warde Manuel, Michigan’s Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics.

A ruling from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services required the Wolverines to immediately pause athletic activities in all sports, including games and practices, “until further notice and up to 14 days.”

According to the university, the mandate comes following several positive tests for COVID-19’s B.1.1.7 variant within the Athletic Department. The new strain is believed to be approximately 50% more transmissible than “standard” COVID-19 infections, which could lead to spikes in cases.

Twenty-two Michigan student-athletes tested positive for the virus between January 16 and 22, but the university didn’t indicate how many, if any, resembled the B.1.1.7 strain.

Michigan said it hasn’t determined how its teams will be affected beyond February 7. Both Penn State and Michigan said they’ll work with the Big Ten and attempt to reschedule affected matchups later in the season.

We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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