CLEVELAND — Cleveland State’s men’s basketball team was preparing for its biggest challenge of the season with a date against No. 2-ranked Duke on Saturday. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Cleveland State men’s basketball team is pausing operations due to multiple COVID-19 cases

  • The team’s upcoming games against Duke and Kent State have been canceled

  • Cleveland State requires students who live on campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19

  • The Cleveland Browns and other sports teams across North America are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19

That game, and the Vikings’ scheduled contest against Kent State on Dec. 21, has been canceled due to several COVID-19 cases, Cleveland State announced on Wednesday. 

"Throughout the pandemic we have prioritized the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff while training and competing. Coach Gates and the team have been extremely diligent in adhering to our protocols as well as deploying other proactive risk mitigation strategies," said CSU Athletics Director Scott Garrett. "After consultation with our training staff and the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center, we are pausing team activity and will reassess in 10 days. While we are disappointed, it is clear that this is the responsible course of action."

Cleveland State did not say how many players, coaches or staffers tested positive for the virus. 

Cleveland State requires students who live on campus to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

A spokesperson for the Horizon League said teams are required to test unvaccinated players at least weekly, depending on the type of COVID-19 test they take. Vaccinated players are not required to undergo routine testing unless they display coronavirus symptoms or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.

The decision to cancel, postpone or forfeit games is left at the discretion of the team doctor, the spokesperson said.

Cleveland State was the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League and had a six-game winning streak snapped when it lost in overtime to Oklahoma State on Monday. 

The Vikings had a scheduled Christmas break and are not slated to return to action until Dec. 30 versus IUPUI.

The cases come as multiple leagues are dealing with COVID outbreaks, including the Cleveland Browns announcing earlier on Wednesday that 14 players and head coach Kevin Stefanski are on the team’s COVID-19 list. The NHL has also had to cancel several games this week due to team outbreaks of the virus.