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Thread: Sources Confirm WCC Considering Las Vegas Bubble for Conference Basketball

  1. #1
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    Default Sources Confirm WCC Considering Las Vegas Bubble for Conference Basketball

    From the San Francisco Chronicle:

    Sources Confirm WCC Considering Las Vegas Bubble for Conference Basketball
    Steve Kroner
    Updated: Oct. 25, 2020 3:25 p.m.

    Three sources have confirmed to The Chronicle that the West Coast Conference is considering playing its men’s and women’s conference basketball seasons in a bubble in Las Vegas, similar to what the NBA and WNBA did in Florida.

    Three sources have confirmed to The Chronicle that the West Coast Conference is considering playing its men’s and women’s conference basketball seasons in a bubble in Las Vegas, similar to what the NBA and WNBA did in Florida.

    John Canzano of the Oregonian first reported the news.

    The WCC has held its conference tournament at Las Vegas’ Orleans Arena since 2009. With most students taking classes online because of the coronavirus pandemic, the thought of teams spending multiple weeks away from campus is not as outlandish as it might appear at first glance.

    Also, considering how important men’s basketball is to the financial stability of the 10 WCC schools’ athletic departments, it certainly would make sense for the conference to explore all avenues to attempt to get in the season.

    A possibility for the conference schedule would be for schools to spend approximately three weeks in Las Vegas, with teams playing every other day, to get in one half of the schedule, then leave Vegas for two to three weeks before returning for another three-week stint to complete the regular season.
    You can read the rest of the article here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/colleges...e-15674086.php

    Other sources for this same topic:

    From the Deseret News:

    More BYU basketball in Vegas? Reports say WCC is exploring a bubble for conference games
    CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported the West Coast Conference is looking to make a decision in the next 2-3 weeks
    By Brandon Judd
    Oct 25, 2020, 1:30pm MDT

    CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported Sunday that the West Coast Conference will decide in the next 2-3 weeks if the league, which includes BYU, will play its conference games in a bubble environment in Las Vegas, much like the NBA hosted its bubble at Disney World earlier this year.

    This comes two days after The Oregonian’s John Canzano first reported that the conference was looking into creating a bubble.

    “It does seem like everybody is really, really committed to push forward with whatever we can make of this season. That’s a really positive thing. We’re trying to do it as safely as we possibly can,” BYU coach Mark Pope told the Deseret News this past week about playing amid the pandemic.
    Read the rest of the article here: https://www.deseret.com/sports/2020/...nference-games

    ZagDad

  2. #2

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    WCC Eyes Playing Games in Las Vegas Bubble
    Details will be solidified in the coming weeks.
    By Peter Woodburn@wernies Oct 26, 2020, 8:56am PDT

    The West Coast Conference is exploring playing out conference basketball games for both men’s and women’s in a bubble-like scenario in Las Vegas, John Canzano of The Oregonian reported over the weekend.

    Considering COVID-19 cases are rising virtually everywhere around the nation at the moment, it is no surprise to see the WCC attempting to figure out how to best go forward. With many schools engaged in fully remote learning, the prospect of removing students from class for weeks at a time is no less disruptive than a normal basketball season schedule.

    The NBA, WNBA, and NHL all proved that going forward, playing sports in a bubble is the easiest way to protect from the spread of COVID-19. The NFL has had multiple COVID-19 outbreaks force last-minute schedule changes, ruining fantasy football rosters everywhere.

    The idea of bubbling up in Las Vegas makes sense from a logistics standpoint. The conference can reserve hotel rooms for everyone and there are multiple arenas for all of the games to take place at. From the players/coach’s perspectives, it is also the safest idea. Although the Gonzaga Bulldogs charter planes for their men’s basketball team, other schools do not, and cannot afford that luxury. If the San Diego Toreros, for example, are forced onto a commercial flight, by virtue of playing a game in Spokane exposes the Zags to the risk of the virus.

    Jon Rothstein confirmed earlier this morning that details remain scarce and a decision is not expected for another couple of weeks.

    Logistically, there is probably still a massive amount to figure out. If the NCAA won’t play the players, it is at least nice to see the conference attempting to figure out how to best protect the players, especially for both men’s and women’s basketball.

  3. #3
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    As unorthodox as this plan is (given any other year), this is the way to go if you want college basketball. ALL conferences should be 𝖼̶𝗈̶𝗇̶𝗌̶𝗂̶𝖽̶𝖾̶𝗋̶𝗂̶𝗇̶𝗀̶ doing this. With the number of D-I teams, and orders of magnitude more games, air travel with players zig-zagging all over the country, hotel stays, indoor dining, a germy contact sport that contributes to team-wide flu outbreaks every single year, and with a sizeable chunk of the country that thinks maintaining any kind of sport is more important than public safety. This is one step in smarter heads hopefully prevailing. We've already seen this strategy can work.

    Kudos to the WCC for pioneering and trying to set an example. Or at least bringing it up -- time will tell if they have the courage and brains. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

    I'm really not sure there will be any games played by the end of the year, if current trends keep trending, and people keep "peopleing" in oblivious fashion (I dare not put that in the prediction thread -- I want CBB as much as anyone, but I don't want to be drawn and quartered). Year 1918 gave us the roadmap, and we aren't exactly, uh, adapting over a full century later. Ignorance of wave one begets wave two, or three, or four until we learn our lesson or it peters out (or most significantly, widespread vaccination). Fingers crossed. My empathy goes out for every middle school, high school, and college player of every sport that has had their seasons diminished or ended. What a time we live in.

    Hoping for the best. Zag on, my friends.

  4. #4

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    Gov. Little moves Idaho back to Stage 3 of reopening plan as cases, hospitalization rates rise
    Updated: October 27, 2020 7:30 AM by Erin Robinson, Associated Press
    Idaho Gov Brad Little

    BOISE, Idaho — Governor Brad Little announced that the entire state of Idaho will move back to Stage 3 at midnight on Tuesday.

    The state has been in Stage 4 since mid-June, but Little made the move due to rising cases and hospitalization rates across the state.

    “Last week, things changed for the worst. Idaho is at a critical juncture, this is unacceptable and we must do more,” Little said.

    State officials continue reporting surging infections, with 650 more on Sunday for a total approaching 60,000 along with 573 deaths. The state’s positivity test rate is fourth-worst in the nation, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

    Little made reference to North Idaho when making his announcement, noting that Kootenai Health reported being at 99 percent capacity last week. He said hospitals were pausing elective surgeries and were being forced to move non-COVID patients out of state to focus on those with the virus.

    “We’ve stated over and over that this is about flattening the curve, slowing the spread of COVID-19” Little said.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 10-29-2020 at 11:11 AM.

  5. #5

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    Spokane Regional Health District administrative officer asks Dr. Bob Lutz to step down
    Posted: October 30, 2020 8:33 AM
    Updated: October 30, 2020 1:58 PM by Erin Robinson
    Dr Bob Lutz
    SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District’s administrative officer was the one who requested Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz step down.

    Amelia Clark’s request was brought up to the health district board during an executive session on Thursday night. During a press conference Friday, Clark refused to answer why she made her request, saying it was a “personnel” matter.

    A letter was sent to staff at the health district stating Lutz’s last day was Friday, but again, there has been no clarification on whether he was terminated or resigned on his own. 4 News Now obtained a copy of the email through a public records request.

    Letter to SRHD StaffLutz, who has been leading the county’s COVID-19 response since the start of pandemic, was appointed as the county health officer in June 2017.

    Clark has been with the health district since August 2019. She was selected by a committee of five board members.

    RELATED: Spokane Regional Health District refuses to answer questions about Lutz’s departure

    Editor’s Note: An earlier press releases state the health board asked Lutz to resign, however, County Commissioner Jared Webley confirmed it was Clark who made the request. Additionally, an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the vice chair would take the role of county health officer should they be removed by the board.

  6. #6

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    Inlander: By Samantha Wohlfeil 30 Oct. 2020

    Spokane Regional Health District’s health officer Dr. Bob Lutz was asked to resign yesterday, and district employees were told by email this morning that yesterday was his last day working there.

    Amelia Clark, the administrative officer for the district, asked Lutz to resign after speaking about the matter with the Board of Health in an executive session on Thursday and hearing support from them.

    Clark, board chair Spokane Valley Mayor Ben Wick, and health district spokeswoman Kelli Hawkins offered little to no clarity on the matter during a press conference this morning. Officials would not say if Lutz had actually resigned or whether he had been fired.
    Multiple health district staff members, who spoke with the Inlander anonymously out of fear of losing their jobs, say they were completely blindsided by the decision and support Lutz. Some cried after learning of the news this morning.
    “We are shocked and devastated,” one employee says. “This caught everybody by surprise.”
    Multiple employees who have worked closely with Lutz throughout the COVID-19 pandemic wondered if the decision was politically motivated.

    Lutz had been talking about whether to roll back parts of the community to more severe restrictions as the number of cases in pockets of the community has been spiking. However, it did not appear he had made an official move one way or the other before Clark asked him to resign.

    Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward issued a statement that references the idea that some are frustrated that the community isn’t opening up even faster.
    “Dr. Lutz has faced an extremely tough challenge over an extended time and gave everything he had to the community,” Woodward’s statement reads in part. “We have been learning about the virus as we go and those long months since have left our region anxious, tired, and frustrated that we are not progressing as fast as everyone had hoped. This is a community health and economic emergency and it takes partnership and community to solve it; we will rally together as Spokane always does. Please continue to put your loved ones, friends, neighbors, and colleagues first as you remain resilient and practice good mask etiquette and hand hygiene.”
    Spokane County has reported more than 1,200 new cases in the last two weeks and 203 deaths so far.

    Spokane Regional Health Officer Bob Lutz says that it's unlikely that Spokane will be ready to move to Phase 3. That was before Inslee's rolled out a new, revised plan for lifting his stay-home orders.
    Why Spokane County's explosion of cases probably won't force us back into a stricter stay-home order
    “Dr. Lutz has been a steadfast public health leader for all of us and has consistently done the right thing,” one health district employee says. “This is completely unacceptable, particularly in this time. We cannot not have a health officer during a pandemic that is so negatively impacting our community.”

    Clark didn’t say who would take over as health officer in the meantime. She says there will be a process to contract with a medical professional who would sign necessary health orders in the meantime, as they look for someone to fill the health officer role.
    Health district employees say they feel left in the lurch, with many questions suddenly about how Lutz’s standing orders might be impacted. For example, for some long-term care facilities with outbreaks, Lutz has given the order to conduct weekly testing; without his order, those facilities would need another doctor to sign off on their testing.
    Hawkins and Clark consistently said they could share no more details on the “personnel matter” on advice of counsel. They did not cite the specific state law that would restrict them from clarifying if he was fired or resigned.

    Lutz and his team had just been awarded the Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award for 2020 by Providence Health Care the day before the meeting in which Clark asked the Board of Health whether they would support her decision to ask him to resign.
    The Spokane County Democrats called the move to oust Lutz “unconscionable.” The Spokane County Republicans had not yet issued a statement, but had shared a link to a news article on Facebook with the caption “Breaking News Dr. Lutz asked to resign!”
    Lutz had not returned a call seeking comment as of early Friday afternoon. Neither had multiple health board members.

  7. #7
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    ZAB,

    What does the issue of Bob Lutz and his resigning or firing have anything to do with the thread topic "Las Vegas Bubble" or the Lady Zags Wbb in general??

    I would ask that you respect the thread topic and start your own thread on your Covid topics. I started this thread and do not want to see it locked or removed because of inappropriate content that has been posted that does not deal with the thread topic.

    Thank You,

    ZagDad

  8. #8

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    Superintendents of public schools in Spokane County release statement of support for Dr. Bob Lutz
    Oct 30, 2020 Updated 3 hrs ago

    SPOKANE, Washington - Less than a day after it was announced that the Spokane County Board of Health asked for Dr. Bob Lutz's resignation, Superintendents of Public Schools in Spokane County released a statement of support of Dr. Lutz.

    It says:

    As superintendents of the public school districts in Spokane County, we have each sincerely appreciated the thoughtful guidance and generous time Dr. Bob Lutz (and others on the Spokane Regional Health District team) has provided us throughout the ongoing pandemic.

    Decisions that have been made have not been easy or uncomplicated, for any of us nor for Dr. Lutz and other public health professionals. Yet, he has leaned in with us and collaborated as we have strived to make the best decisions possible for our students and district communities, and for the larger regional community we share.

    Mr. Ben Small, Superintendent Central Valley School District Mr. Rob Roettger, Superintendent Cheney Public Schools Mr. Travis Hanson, Superintendent Deer Park School District Mr. Kelly Shea, Superintendent East Valley School District Dr. Randy Russell, Superintendent Freeman School District Mr. Jeff Baerwald, Superintendent Great Northern School District Mr. Brett Baum, Superintendent Liberty School District Mr. Shawn Woodward, Superintendent Mead School District Mr. Tim Ames, Superintendent Medical Lake School District Dr. Dave Smith, Superintendent Newport School District Mr. Brian Talbott, Superintendent Nine Mile Falls School District Ms. Suzanne Savall, Superintendent Orchard Prairie School District Mr. Eric Sobotta, Superintendent Reardan-Edwall School District Dr. Ken Russell, Superintendent Riverside School District Dr. Adam Swinyard, Superintendent Spokane Public Schools Mr. Kyle Rydell, Superintendent West Valley School District Dr. Michael Dunn, Superintendent NorthEast Washington ESD 101.

  9. #9

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    Thayne M. McCulloh
    @Gonzaga_Prez
    Proud president of the ONE AND ONLY nationally-ranked Gonzaga University!

    Thayne M. McCulloh
    @Gonzaga_Prez
    ·
    4h
    I am personally very concerned by the reported ouster of the Director of
    @spokanehealth
    , Dr. Bob Lutz. In the face of this pandemic he has worked tirelessly & been a wise, effective guide to us in
    @spokanecounty
    &
    @GonzagaU
    . It is my hope that this decision can be reconsidered.

  10. #10
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    ZD...I’M WITH YOU!!

    ZAB... YOU WANT TO TALK COVID-19... START YOUR OWN BOARD!!

    We are DISCUSSING GU WBB on this Board.... and hopefully get them back to some NORMALCY in their lives and ours..

    Getting close to FanFEST and a chance to see our GU WBB!!

    Go Zags!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    ZAB,

    What does the issue of Bob Lutz and his resigning or firing have anything to do with the thread topic "Las Vegas Bubble" or the Lady Zags Wbb in general??

    I would ask that you respect the thread topic and start your own thread on your Covid topics. I started this thread and do not want to see it locked or removed because of inappropriate content that has been posted that does not deal with the thread topic.

    Thank You,

    ZagDad
    Agreed.

  12. #12

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    A few tidbits: First thanks to CLF for posting some more photos on WBB Go Zags website getting ready for the season. They were Gillian, Yvonne, Cierra, and Jill doing strength and conditioning.

    Second I hope we can keep Politics out of our decisions when it comes to public health. Spokane County Superintendents, the Gonzaga President, etc all know that the Safety and welfare of our students should be top priority during this Pandemic.

    Third thats why the bubbles are being discussed in great details, in addition thats why non conference schedules are a work in progress, all to insure maximum safety measures are in place for all games being played.

    Just a thought but it might be cool to have the WBB Zags Non-conference schedule announced during fan fest on 10 November if possible.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 11-03-2020 at 11:13 AM.

  13. #13

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    Support fades for moving WCC basketball games to Las Vegas
    UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 4, 2020
    By Jim Meehan
    jimm@spokesman.com

    The bubble appears to be bursting on the notion of West Coast Conference men’s and women’s basketball teams playing conference games in a quasi-bubble environment in Las Vegas.

    Conference officials have discussed the concept for a few weeks, but there are numerous potential hurdles and it doesn’t seem to have the support of WCC athletic directors.

    “The sense I got from the (athletic directors’ Zoom) call (earlier this week), we didn’t vote but it was clearly the vast majority – if not 100 percent – were on the same page that there’s just too many variables to make it work,” Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth said. “I don’t believe the bubble is going to move forward, but I don’t have final say on that.”

    It’s up to WCC presidents to determine if they want to discuss the Las Vegas idea or not. The presidents are expected to hold a meeting Thursday.

  14. #14

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    Just wanted to say have tremendous admiration for all our health professionals during this Pandemic. It is often a thankless job but during these times it also a life threatening job. Even the road to becoming a Health care professional can be twice as hard.

    Remember Elle Tinkle who had to balance school work, while working in the nursing field to get intern job experience needed, then to top it off she played basketball also. Back when this all started in the US, Washington made the news in Kirkland. As 60 minutes reported this last week health professionals in Kirkland were investigated and falsely blamed for not doing their jobs. Then 60 minutes reported in the end Kirkland was found to being doing their job and putting their lives on the line, in the most difficult times. Moral of the story just let the Health care professionals do their job, provide them with the technology, testing, support they need. And please keep politics from attacking our health care professionals.

    The Gonzaga President has a great respect for health care workers, and cares greatly about the safety and health of our community. We are fortunate to have leaders like him looking out for our students.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 11-06-2020 at 12:45 PM.

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