UTEP announces basketball will be played without fans

UTEP+forward+Bryson+Williams+pushes+off+defender+as+he+looks+for+the+score+versus+Marshall+Feb.+15.

Courtesy of UTEP

UTEP forward Bryson Williams pushes off defender as he looks for the score versus Marshall Feb. 15.

Heriberto Perez, reporter

On Nov. 23, UTEP President Heather Wilson and the Director of UTEP Athletics Jim Senter announced that basketball games at the Don Haskins Center will be played with no fans in attendance to start the season due to the current COVID-19 conditions in El Paso 

Previously the university had decided to play basketball games in front of a limited capacity of fans. Still, with El Paso currently leading the state with Coronavirus’s current active cases, UTEP decided to prohibit fan attendance for now to reduce the risk of community spread. 

“We know of no spread of the disease at UTEP and have maintained safe campus operations throughout the semester,” Wilson said.  “While we test everyone in athletics and are confident in the safety of our campus, we are cognizant of the disease levels in the community around us.  Decisions on fan attendance for future games will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.” 

The miners start the 2020-2021 season with the women hosting NM State on Nov. 25 at noon. and later that day the  men hosting the University of Texas at Permian Basin at 5 p.m. The next womens game will be on Nov. 28.against  Incarnate Word at 1 p.m.  

“While the COVID numbers in our community have started to improve, we want to encourage all El Pasoans to continue to stay home, stay safe, and cheer on the Miners remotely in an effort to continue to improve the health conditions in our region,” Senter said. 

For these three games, only student-athletes, coaches, support staff, medical personnel, and media with a working function will be allowed to be inside of the Don Haskins. 

UTEP’s box office will contact season ticket holders regarding refund situations.  

Fans can follow these three games on C-USA TV (https://conferenceusa.com/watch) or listen live on 600 ESPN El Paso.