CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Council of Presidents (CoP) voted today to delay the start of conference men’s and women’s basketball action to Jan. 8, 2021 the league announced today.
 
“With the surge in COVID-19 cases across our footprint and the work still pending with state/local health authorities on our Return to Play Plan, our CoP determined the best path forward was to delay the start of conference basketball until after the first of the year,” stated CCC Commissioner Robert Cashell.
 
Oregon Tech Athletic Director John Van Dyke responded, “Although I am disappointed that we are having to postpone a portion of our conference schedule, I understand that our athletes’ safety must remain our top priority.   I am hopeful that our basketball teams will still be able to have some version of a season that they deserve.  I have been impressed with how our players and coaches have chosen to remain positive.  It is an impressive testament to their character.”
 
Originally, conference play was set to begin on Dec. 4, 2020. Additionally, the CoP lifted non-conference restrictions for programs. Earlier, a cap of two counting contests and two non-counting contests was in place.
 
“We have some locations in Washington and Idaho that have been provided approval to play by their local or state health authorities,” said Cashell. “The desire was to allow for those that can play the opportunity to do so, with those decisions being made at the campus/local level as it relates to non-conference action.”
 
It was announced last week that the Return to Play Plan includes strict daily wellness screening, weekly PCR testing and stringent procedures for mitigating against the introduction and spread of COVID-19. PCR testing is required for the sports of basketball, wrestling, football, soccer and volleyball.
 
“While our start dates may have moved, our commitment to doing everything we can to provide competition for our student-athletes in a safe and responsible manner remains our focus,” added Cashell.
 
A revised men’s and women’s basketball schedule will be available at a later date.
 
“While we are all certainly disappointed about not being able to play at this time, we understand the severity of the Covid-19 situation surrounding us and are doing what we can to stay safe,” said head women’s basketball coach Scott Meredith. “I am proud of the organization and effort Oregon Tech and our athletic department has put forth to keep our students and staff healthy.  We will continue to do skill work and conditioning drills to prepare for the January 8 start date.”
 
Men’s basketball head coach Justin Parnell added, “Unfortunately we are being delayed again, but we support any decision that is based off the health and safety of our student athletes. Our guys have kept a positive attitude since the NAIA tournament cancellation last year and I expect nothing less from them now.”

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