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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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AAC announces Updated COVID-19 Operational Protocols

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Houston's AAC opener vs. Cincinnati – originally scheduled for Tuesday inside the Fertitta Center – now has been postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Cougar program.

POSTED: December 27, 2021 -- 3:38 p.m. CT

The American Athletic Conference has announced updated operational protocols and procedures related to COVID-19 for the 2021-22 men's and women's basketball seasons, retroactive to the start of conference play.

Houston's AAC opener vs. Cincinnati – originally scheduled for Tuesday inside the Fertitta Center – now has been postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Cougar program. Both teams return to 0-0 records in conference play.

Coaches and school administrators now are working to find an available makeup date compatible for both teams.

Additional information about updates to the Cougars' schedule will be released soon.


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The protocols were unanimously approved Monday by the conference's athletic directors and are subject to modification pending changes to national, state, local or NCAA guidelines.

The AAC has established a minimum of seven eligible scholarship players and at least one coach to be available for a conference game to proceed as scheduled. Any team with fewer than seven available scholarship players due to COVID-19 maintains the option to play a game if desired.

If a team does not have enough players to play a conference game as scheduled, the game shall be canceled and declared a no-contest for purposes of conference standings. The involved institutions have the discretion to reschedule a game that was canceled, but there is no mandatory rescheduling policy.

If a team decides to not play a particular contest for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, the game shall be declared a no-contest for NCAA purposes, and a forfeit win and forfeit loss for purposes of conference standings.

The American may declare a no-contest in a conference game if federal, state, local or university health authorities prevent the teams from playing on the scheduled date if both teams are able to participate. All rescheduling options will be exhausted before declaring a no-contest.

Teams will be required to play a minimum of 75% of the average number of conference games played in order to be seeded by winning percentage for the conference championship. All teams falling below the 75% threshold will be seeded according to their winning percentage within that subgroup.

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