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Ohio State men’s basketball game against New Orleans cancelled due to continued COVID-19 issues

The Buckeyes were apparently ready to return after a 17-day pause, but Ohio State now has the red light and will not be playing tomorrow evening.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 14 Ohio State (8-2, 2-0) was able to finally get back in the gym Sunday night to practice as a team after 10 days of dead time, following multiple COVID-19 cases within their program. Chris Holtmann said on 97.1 FM last week that the goal was to get “at least two practices” in before Tuesday night’s game against New Orleans (3-7) and then gradually ease back into their typical practice and conditioning schedule, heading into Big Ten Play.

While all of the lights looked green on Ohio State’s side of things, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman is now reporting that continued concerns about COVID within the Buckeye program will prevent the game from happening as scheduled. Originally, Goodman had indicated that the issues were coming from within the Musketeers’s program, but he corrected his initial tweet to indicate that the Buckeyes were the ones dealing with the outbreak.

An official statement from Ohio State said that the game was canceled due to “player health and safety concerns within the Buckeye basketball program.”

Additionally, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said, “Our guys are progressing through the COVID return to play protocols well, but we just don’t have the numbers or readiness to play a game yet. Player safety as it relates to COVID and as they return to play after a significant time off, will always be a top priority.”

With the New Orleans game now off, Ohio State’s next game is scheduled for Jan. 2 in Lincoln, Neb. against the Cornhuskers (6-7, 0-2). It is not yet known if the New Orleans game will be rescheduled.

Ohio State head coach Holtmann is scheduled to speak today at 12 noon ET on 97.1 FM for “The Chris Holtmann Show” and more information will likely come to light after his radio appearance.