The outline of an unfortunate situation has emerged on the Oregon trail. It involves COVID — specifically, the apparent violation of conference protocols by Ducks coach Dana Altman.
We framed it that way because details are sketchy. What can and cannot be revealed about COVID is dictated by student and employee privacy laws, at both the campus and conference levels.
But here’s what we know:
— Ducks point guard Will Richardson was wearing a mask during pre-game warmups last week at Oregon State.
— Richardson did not wear his mask during the game, which Oregon won 78-76.
— No Pac-12 protocols differentiate between mask-wearing in games and in warmups. Either you need one for both or for neither.
— The Pac-12 issued a private reprimand to Ducks coach Dana Altman at some point after the game, according to a report late last week by the Oregonian’s John Canzano: …
Is Altman the first head coach to be privately reprimanded by the conference over a COVID matter?
We don’t know.
Was there more to the private reprimand that a few stern words from HQ? Were any sanctions considered for the program?
But the Pac-12 schools have devoted immense resources and incalculable effort into crafting and enforcing COVID policies that allow for continued competition while keeping players and coaches as safe as reasonably possible.
Any breach of those protocols — whether it’s Oregon basketball or Arizona State football or any other team and any other circumstance — is both extremely serious and deeply unfortunate.
Oh boy, if the likes of Nancy P and AOC and Gavin Newsom and even Dr. Fauci on occastion can get away with violating the rules, I don’t see why a mere basketball coach should not.