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Basketball seasons to start without fans in attendance

USF Athletics on Thursday announced fans will not be allowed at the Yuengling Center for the start of the 2020-21 basketball seasons.

Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly put out a statement explaining the decision was the safest, considering the rising COVID-19 cases across the country.

“After consulting with university leadership and local health officials, we felt it was the right decision to begin the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons without fans in attendance in the Yuengling Center,” Kelly said. “We understand this decision will not be happily received by the many fans excited to see our basketball teams, but we feel it is in the best interest of our fans and broader university and Bay area communities, as well as in line with our priority for the health and safety of our student-athletes and coaches as they begin to compete for conference championships with an eye toward postseason play.”

The no-fan policy is expected to run through the nonconference season, at least through Dec. 15.

Similar to home football games, Athletics will review fan attendance policies and make a decision on whether fans will be allowed at conference games later in the year and into early 2021.

Fan attendance, if allowed, will be limited and is reliant on the decisions of state, local and university officials. As with the football season, current basketball season-ticket members will be given first priority in purchasing and selecting seats.

For fans who don’t want to attend in person or if it’s decided spectators aren’t allowed in attendance, nearly all USF basketball games will be available to watch on ESPN+.