Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Florida Gulf Coast University's men's basketball program has been placed on pause, while Howard University has canceled the remainder of its season as college athletes around the country continue to battle COVID-19.
Florida Gulf Coast paused activities for at least two weeks Tuesday because of a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing within the program, the Fort Myers, Fla., university said.
Howard University said it canceled the remainder of its season "out of an abundance of caution due to the health and safety concerns" related to COVID-19.
Howard hadn't played since Dec. 18, while Florida Gulf Coast hosted North Alabama on Saturday. Florida Gulf Coast said it doesn't plan to return to the court until a ame against North Florida on Feb. 26 in Jacksonville.
"We are extremely disappointed to miss games the next two weeks, especially since we were regaining the confidence and rhythm we played with prior to our last shutdown," Eagles coach Michael Fly said in a news release.
"However, we are going to focus on the things that we can control and a global pandemic is not one of those."
The Eagles (9-6) also paused their program for two weeks from late December through mid-January. They have had additional games canceled because of COVID-19 issues within opponents' programs.
Howard coach Kenneth Blakeney said in a news release that several "team members" tested positive for COVID-19 in January, which resulted in canceled games and the eventual cancellation of the season. The team played just five games in 2020-21.
Howard, which is in Washington, D.C., said it plans to maintain schedules for all other varsity sports, but will follow protocol for the District of Columbia and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In other COVID-19 related news, the Big Ten on Tuesday announced it has moved its 2021 men's basketball tournament site from Chicago to Indianapolis. The conference said the decision was made in the interest of health and safety for athletes, coaches and officials.
The women's Big Ten conference tournament also will take place in Indianapolis. The Big Ten said hosting both tournaments in the same city will allow for more "cohesive testing and medical protocols" and centralized accommodations around competition venues.
The men's Big Ten conference tournament will be from March 10 to 14 in Indianapolis, a week before the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament is played in the same city.
The women's Big Ten conference tournament is scheduled for March 9 to 13 in Indianapolis. The NCAA Division 1 women's basketball tournament is to be held March 21 to April 4 in the San Antonio region.
Utah State and Wyoming on Tuesday also postponed their two-game men's basketball series. The Mountain West conference said the series was postponed "due to health and safety concerns." Wyoming was scheduled to host the Utah State on Wednesday and Friday.
Miami, North Carolina, Santa Clara, Gonzaga, Portland, Niagra, Iona, Baylor, West Virginia, Xavier, DePaul, Siena, Canisius, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M are among the other men's basketball programs that have postponed games this week in response to COVID-19 test results and contact tracing.