Fordham Men’s B-Ball Home Opener Postponed

A new date for the game is in flux after a positive coronavirus test result in Iona’s basketball program



The Fordham men’s basketball team were set to face the Iona Gaels on Nov. 25.


A member of the Iona College men’s basketball program has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the entire team and staff to quarantine for two weeks. Fordham’s home opener against the Iona Gaels, originally scheduled for Nov. 25, will now have to be postponed or canceled.

Iona’s quarantine comes 13 days after one of the Fordham men’s basketball players tested positive on Oct. 30. An official statement from the athletic department explained, “The entire team has paused workouts and is entering into a quarantine period where they will be retested on a regular basis.”

After 14 days without any basketball-related activities or further positive tests, the Rams will be able to retake the court this Saturday. However, the Gaels’ quarantine is just beginning, and their 14 days will cut directly into the beginning of the season. 

Iona Coach Rick Pitino noted the effects of such an untimely break for the Gaels in an interview with The Journal News.“We wouldn’t have any time to get ready,” Pitino said. “Fourteen days without basketball, the players are all going to get out of shape and we need at least a week to get back into training.”

Iona only has a single game scheduled within its two-week quarantine window, the one against Fordham. However, it is also likely that the team will cancel its next three games as well, scheduled between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2. The games were supposed to take place at the “Bubbleville” event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The goal of the event is to provide a safe environment where college basketball teams can compete early in the season, but it is highly unlikely that the Gaels will make an appearance.

After missing two weeks of their own season, Fordham men’s basketball will push back its start from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3. This cancellation or postponement likely means that the team will begin its schedule with two away games against local rivals Manhattan College and St. John’s University. Unless the game against Iona is quickly rescheduled, Fordham’s home opener will now take place on Dec. 12 against the University of Maine.

Interim Athletic Director Ed Kull was hopeful earlier this year that Fordham’s basketball teams could play unimpeded this year. Despite the setbacks, Kull’s department is still working to make the early parts of the men’s season work.

“We are currently working with Iona, on rescheduling and finding a new date. We wish Iona and their program a healthy and safe recovery,” Kull said.

While the men’s basketball team will have to adjust to increased testing and potential schedule changes, other winter sports at Fordham have not yet been affected. The women’s basketball team has not reported any positive cases within its program and plans to release a season schedule soon.

For the state of college basketball, Iona’s quarantine will be drowned out in a sea of similar stories. Positive tests are coming up around the country, forcing many college teams to stay home in the midst of their preparation for the season. Meanwhile, the Ivy League announced yesterday that all winter sports will be canceled due to COVID-19-related health concerns.

This year’s college basketball season will be a unique one due to the adverse and extraordinary conditions that teams across the country will have to face. In many cases like Iona’s, however, COVID-19 obstacles have halted the action before it can truly begin.