Dayton Flyers will not play in season-opening tournament in South Dakota

Dayton Flyers interviews (Nov. 5, 2020)

The Dayton Flyers have pulled out of the Crossover Classic basketball tournament in South Dakota with coronavirus case counts rising across the country.

UD director of athletics Neil Sullivan confirmed the news Friday night, 19 days before the start of the college basketball season.

“In the end, the totality of the COVID-19 circumstances was too much to overcome from a public health perspective,” Sullivan said. “Regretfully, that became apparent this week.”

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Utah previously pulled out with Ohio State following suit earlier this week. Saint Mary’s replaced Utah, and then South Dakota State replaced Ohio State.

According to multiple reports, Ohio State’s decision was related to the state of Ohio’s requirement of a 14-day quarantine upon return from the South Dakota.

The Flyers were scheduled to play Wichita State in the opening round on Nov. 25, the first day of the 2020-21 college basketball season. They would have played three games in three days and then returned home and played their home opener between Dec. 1-3. How the decision to withdraw from the Crossover Classic affects that plan is unknown.

Dayton is not alone in its schedule uncertainty. As of Saturday, 70 of the 357 Division I teams had released a non-conference schedule, according to the D1 Docket, a Twitter account that keeps track of schedule releases.

Sullivan was asked if he was confident Dayton could find find replacements for the games on the schedule, and he said, “Confidence is a fleeting word in COVID right now,, but we will adjust and adapt over the next few days.”

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