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USF Men's, Women's Basketball To Open Season Without Fans At Home Games

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Jonah Hinebaugh/WUSF Public Media

Fans will not be permitted to the Yuengling Center for the start of the USF basketball seasons, and officials say they will re-evaluate at a later date.

The University of South Florida will start its men’s and women’s basketball seasons without fans at its home games.

University officials announced Friday that fans will not be permitted in the Yuengling Center through its non-conference schedule, which runs through at least Dec. 15, in abundance of caution due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"After consulting with university leadership and local health officials, we felt it was the right decision to begin the 2020-21 men's and women's basketball seasons without fans in attendance in the Yuengling Center," Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly said. "We understand this decision will not be happily received by the many fans excited to see our basketball teams, but we feel it is in the best interest of our fans and broader university and Bay area communities, as well as in line with our priority for the health and safety of our student-athletes and coaches as they begin to compete for conference championships with an eye toward postseason play.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and consult local, state and university health officials as we assess attendance policies throughout the season."

Officials said a limited number of players’ and coaches’ family members will be allowed access.https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/university-beat/2020-11-18/usf-navy-football-game-postponed-due-to-covid-19-concerns

If attendance is permitted, officials say priority will be given to current season-ticket members, and seating will be limited.

The men’s team opens play Nov. 28 against Rhode Island at the Basketball Hall of Fame Air Force Reserve Tip-off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn. The women’s schedule has yet to be released.

Fans can still watch nearly all of the games by subscribing to ESPN+.

Earlier this week, university officials announced Saturday's home football game against Navy has been postponed as the Bulls deal with coronavirus issues and other injuries.

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