Wright State coach on team being exposed to ref with coronavirus: ‘We’re taking it seriously’

At least one referee from Wright State's game in the Horizon League basketball tournament tested positive for the coronavirus, and the university has taken steps to make sure it doesn't spread.

Coach Scott Nagy, his staff and players were told to self-isolate for 14 days from the time of exposure, which was March 9. Fans at the game were not considered to be at risk.

“We’re taking it seriously and following the guidelines the university and our athletic trainer (Jason Franklin) have given me and our players,” Nagy said.

UIC, which beat the Raiders, 73-57 , at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, has announced it has taken precautions by self-isolating, too.

The American East Conference said the same officiating crew worked its tournament game between Maine and Vermont, but those schools have decided not to take any extra steps because of the time gap between the game and onset of symptoms, which was three days later.

Siena, though, told its team to follow social-distancing guidelines Thursday because two officials who worked its game against Manhattan in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tested positive for COVID-19.

A pair of Horizon League women’s teams have been affected. Cleveland State coach Chris Kielsmeier began showing symptoms last Saturday — five days after his team lost to IUPUI in the semifinals in Indianapolis.

Both schools have self-quarantined.

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“It has been a very challenging couple of days,” Kielsmeier told USA Today. “I am beginning to feel better and look forward to getting back to 100%.”

None of the referees have been identified. But coaches generally shake hands with officials before games, and starters often give them fist-bumps at introductions.

“At this point, we’re 11 days out from that game, and I don’t think we have anyone who’s experiencing symptoms,” Nagy said.

The residence hall at the school was shut down Friday. Classes were already being conducted remotely.

Wright State officials issued a statement saying the school “is closely monitoring this rapidly evolving situation and continuing to follow direction from federal, state and local authorities to make decisions based on the most up-to-date information available.”

The Raiders had earned an NIT berth, but the tournament was cancelled last week.

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“We’re encouraging everybody to do what we need to,” Nagy said. “We know, based on what they’re telling us, to stay away from people as much as you can and keep yourself in one spot and do all those things like wash your hands.”

Nagy isn’t accustomed to being at home this time of year — and neither is his staff.

They all would have been hopping from one state basketball tournament to another to see recruits, staying on the road for about six weeks.

“We almost go harder once our season is over than we do even during the season,” he said. “We’re going 100 miles per hour with our season. It’s emotional and physically draining. And then as coaches, when it’s over, we keep going.

“We were going 100 miles per hour and just completely stopped. But it’s probably not any different than a lot of people in their businesses. It’s unusual for everybody.”

Nagy and wife Jamie considered visiting relatives during the unexpected hiatus, but that’s been put on hold.

“We wanted to go see our parents, just because we have the time. But obviously, we definitely would want to wait since I’ve been exposed to somebody we know who has it — at least during this 14-day window,” he said.

“Mostly, we’re not any different than anyone else. We’re just kind of antsy. We want it to be over.”

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