Originally published December 21, 2021 at 06:20p.m., updated December 21, 2021 at 08:10p.m.

COVID-19 issue within Colorado hoops program leads to cancellation of KU-CU game in Boulder

The 7th-ranked Kansas men's basketball team's road game at Colorado on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, was canceled roughly two hours before tipoff following multiple positive COVID-19 tests surfacing within the CU program.

The 7th-ranked Kansas men's basketball team's road game at Colorado on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, was canceled roughly two hours before tipoff following multiple positive COVID-19 tests surfacing within the CU program.


Boulder, Colo. — Tuesday’s Kansas men’s basketball game against Colorado at CU Events Center was canceled less than two hours before tipoff because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Colorado program.

Fans were turned away from the arena before being let in at about the same time that Colorado announced on its social media platforms that the game had been called off. A statement from Kansas Athletics indicated that the two programs “mutually agreed” to cancel the game.”

“Our top priority since the start of the pandemic has been the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and the community," CU Athletic Director Rick George said in a statement Tuesday night. “While we’re disappointed for our student-athletes and fans to have to cancel the game, both schools agreed this is the best decision.”


A Colorado fan sits outside of CU Events Center in Boulder, Colorado, trying to figure out what to do with her tickets following the cancelation of the KU-CU game on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

Kansas coach Bill Self told reporters at KU’s team hotel in Boulder that none of the Jayhawks were positive as of Tuesday and that he was disappointed but not devastated that the game had been canceled. So, too, Self said, was Colorado coach Tad Boyle, who told Self throughout the day Tuesday that he was still hoping to play.

“Tad said, ‘Bill, if we have seven and they say we can play, we want to play,’” Self said Tuesday evening. “But this is not an important game in the big scheme of things. I actually agree totally with the decision that was made. It was their doctors, our doctors, everybody.”

Initially, it was just one positive test within the CU program. But after the rest of the CU team was tested, more positive test results surfaced, prompting the cancellation.

Self said the two programs decided earlier Tuesday that they planned “to go as long as possible,” to try to see if the game could still be played. That meant a drop-dead time of 5:45 p.m. before a final call was required. CU’s additional positive test results were in before that time and the game was canceled just after 5 p.m. mountain time, before KU had left the hotel for the arena.

Self said he first heard the official word from Associate Athletic Director Sean Lester and he noted that Boyle was trying to call through while Lester and Self were talking.

According to a statement released by Kansas Athletics, there is no plan to reschedule the game. But Self did not rule out the possibility of KU adding another game to its schedule somewhere down the road to make up for the lost opportunity on Tuesday night.

Self also noted that this was not the first time a college sporting event had been canceled this season and he predicted that it also would not be the last time.

“It’s going to screw up your conference season,” he said. “I just hope it doesn’t screw it up where it takes away the fans and what makes college basketball so great. Everybody can deal with a week’s pause. I just don’t know how it’ll be (with) reduced capacities and if we start doing all the things we did last year because of what’s transpiring.”

According to Self, the Jayhawks were not able to get out of town on Tuesday night and were scheduled to stay in Boulder through the night and return home to Kansas on Wednesday. Everyone but senior forward Mitch Lightfoot was scheduled to return to Lawrence with the team and then they would all go their separate ways for the holiday break from there before returning to campus on Dec. 26. Lightfoot road home with his family from Colorado to Phoenix.

Based on Tuesday’s practice and what he had seen from his team since last Saturday’s close-call victory over Stephen F. Austin, Self said the seventh-ranked Jayhawks (9-1) were looking forward to getting back onto the court.

“We were prepared to play today,” he said. “As poorly as we played Saturday, and as telling as the film was for all the guys, you could tell they were anxious to go play.”

The Jayhawks are now scheduled to be off until Dec. 29, when they are scheduled to play host to Harvard in the final game before the start of Big 12 Conference play on Jan. 1.

Self said the Jayhawks would continue to take every precaution possible in the meantime, and he touted the positive impact of vaccines in helping keep the COVID-19 virus under control.

“Even though the illness is serious, I think statistics show that those that have been vaccinated carry far less risks than those who have not,” Self said. “We’re going to try to be as precautionary as we can and probably put in some protocols that look similar to last year, but I hope it doesn’t feel similar to last year.

“The (omicron) variant is going to spread like wildfire. We’re all going to get it. The good news is if you are vaccinated and boosted, the symptoms of getting it are very mild compared to those who aren’t. At least our team is vaccinated and for the most part boosted. I don’t know what to do. One positive shouldn’t shut you down. But in this situation, multiple positives and there’s symptoms … more importantly (players) are going home (for the holidays) and there are some individuals who may be a little bit compromised from an immune system standpoint; this was not that important to play this game.”

Self also said KU recently decided to cancel its annual holiday clinic, scheduled for next Monday, “for this exact reason.”

“We had 500 (kids) sign up,” he said. “And if you put athletes around 500 kids there’s probably a chance somebody in the group’s got COVID. And then one of our guys gets it and you could have to potentially miss guys or miss games.”


Gerry Butler 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So it begins. - -This isn't the only time we will see this in this particular Season for KU & a lot of other teams. - It's already raising havoc across the landscape.

Just hope we didn't have a lot of inner action with their Staff and players during the day. - really going to spike after Christmas break and New Years with big group settings - -not good

Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

At this point, nothing we've done to fight coronavirus has worked. Every time we "declare war" on something other than an enemy nation - war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror, war on COVID - we never succeed, and the problem gets worse, not better. We'd be better off if we just dropped all the COVID protocols and go back to normal. Players who are asymptomatic can play, players who show signs of illness can stay home - simple as that.

Tim Orel 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Suzi, since you brought this up, it's best to actually go to the professionals like the CDC instead of going to a site that claims to represent the information from the CDC and then they lie, misquote and essentially encourage people to go get sick, get high medical bills instead of a free vaccine, and perhaps die. If you don't want to believe the professional doctors, researchers and others who have studied diseases for years, well, there's no hope for you, but please stay out of hospitals so that people who actually believe in science can get treatment for their injuries, diseases and needs.

I have enjoyed the enthusiasm for KU Sports that you continually bring to this site, but bringing misinformation that can harm Jayhawk fans is a very bad practice.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Suzi, well this frames you as part of the problem not the soultion.

Proven - by facts, results and science the vaccines not only work they actually do exactly what they say they will do.

If you want to actually educate yourself on how a virus works and how to fight them Please Please read - Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Dr. Michael Osterholm.

I am going to recommend your post be removed due to the fact you are spreading misinformation that will harm people.

Len Shaffer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Something to consider: you're a fool who has no idea what she's talking about.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Len please remove your head from under the sand.

Ted Hume 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh my God. Suzi can we keep the crackpot garbage off of here? what's next, my neighborhood Pizza place Comet (yep- that one, and it's a terrific place to bring the family as we in DC know, except when a psychopath is firing shots in the place with our kids at the next table) is running a child sex-slave den for Democrat-zombie Satan worshipers? Congrats though, you've managed to get some exposure on here for a truly vile collection of fringe writers (fringe=certifiably deranged or more dangerous, maliciously-motivated). My favorite nugget from this journalistic gem:

"Big Government wants you to take the jab because it values obedience and relishes the opportunity to crush your civil liberties." ugg. pretty disgusting indeed

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Bryce check with Sweden on how dropping all the protocols worked for them?

Ignoring it will only make it much worse. As we have seen this year the virus is mutating trying to find the right combination to infect the most hosts. This latest one is very concerning. It changed itself drastically from the D version.

Micky Baker 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It could, not will. It could also not make any difference. 2021, more people died froM COVID with the vaccine than in 2020 without the vaccination.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Micky, since there is no talking sense to 30% of the people, like you, I will keep this simple you could not be more wrong.

Only if you think the earth is flat Micky. Only if you think Trump won. Only if Covid, around the world is fake news. Then yes Micky I understand why you think that.

Len Shaffer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, the war on Covid would work a whole lot better if 30% of the population wasn't insisting on ignoring all of the top scientists and doctors (not to mention reality) ...

Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well crap. I was hoping to see KU crush those Big 12 backstabbing Buffs...

Brian Skelly 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If im KU the frustration would simply be was this something that could have been addressed far earlier in the day?

This close to game time? How does that happen?

Kit Duncan 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Did you read the article? They chose to wait for a 5:45 deadline with only one CU player having tested positive. More CU players came back positive just prior to that time and CU doctors said “Cancel.”

Benjamin Shear 7 months, 3 weeks ago we go again. Hoping that we can have the tournament this year.

Doug Roberts 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm gonna make a crazy wild prediction: they're all going to be FINE.

Grossly overweight people, or people with other serious health conditions? They should take precautions. This really isn't rocket science. Defending unhealthy lifestyles isn't going to save anyone. We criticize smokers and drinkers, but not the obese?

Tim Orel 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The people with Covid are CU basketball players, not obese people. They are at risk of spreading the disease to other players, staff and to Jayhawks - why do you want KU's players to be put at risk? Or anyone, for that matter? CU had multiple Players who showed signs of the disease - and you're upset because you can't watch a basketball game? You'd rather put KU's players at risk just so you can enjoy a game? How selfish can you be, and how anti-player can you be? The risks aren't just death, but long-term disability from scarred lungs and other internal organs. No game is worth risking that.

Pamela Shanks 7 months, 3 weeks ago

And protecting children who cannot yet be vaccinated. This is not about protecting one person. It is about protecting those around you. I have sat in hospitals near my child and near my grandchild in the past. We are doing everything possible to protect the most vulnerable.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Doug, I have lost 2 people in Baldwin City, 1 in Sedalia MO., 2 of my friends so far. Everyone one of them was thin. In very good health too. Their ages 32, 35, 60, 62, and 44. The 35 year old was a yoga instructor and lead aerobic classes in her local gym.

You are right its not Rocket Science, it is Epidemiology science actually.

Hate to burst your bubble, but the worst unhealthy lifestyle is not being vaccinated right now.

Len Shaffer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautifully said, Rodney, and I'm so sorry that you've lost so many people who were close to you. It's such a shame that so many people continue to put their heads in the sand.

Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Rodney, I'm so sorry for your losses. Those folks clearly meant a lot to you.

Ted Hume 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Doug- please read Self's own words: theses players are all going home to celebrate the holidays with family members- many of which fall into the categories you so callously describe above. THAT'S why it's was important to cancel- to avoid the chance of needlessly killing even one immuno-compromised and aging grandparent because their kid picked up Covid in a BBall game a few days before joining them for a family meal. Seems pretty clear to me.

Bill Pitcher 7 months, 3 weeks ago

How long will people swallow this stuff?

Doug Roberts 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The players aren't at risk. Spreading the virus to obese people and others with co-morbidities? THEY are at risk, and it is THEIR responsibility to protect themselves, not healthy people. I GUARANTEE NONE of the healthy, young players will be hospitalized. Stop the hysteria.

Tim Orel 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's shameful that you spout things that just aren't true. There are actual scientists who study this and have decades of experience. I have no idea what background you have but somehow you know more than a team of scientists? Do some actual research and don't just read Facebook or Faux Noise for heaven's sake.

Duke University will be doing a study of athletes who contracted Covid following one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

A similar study published in the JAMA Cardiology in May questioned the impact of COVID-19 and different approaches to screening for Big Ten athletes. Out of 1,597 athletes who received comprehensive heart testing, 2.3-percent were diagnosed with myocarditis after a COVID-19 infection.

Sure, that's less than one basketball player on a team of fifteen, so maybe that's a number you think is an acceptable risk so you can have your basketball game. I don't know that the players would agree with you.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Great post Tim!

Doug as you have proven here, you are winging it on your views. The time for winging it is long past.

Barry Weiss 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Coach said we are all going to get Omicrom, I think I have heard that before. It must be wicked contagious, just floating in the air. I'm really getting tired of this covid jazz. It may never go away.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Barry are you an epidemiologist? Have you read the UK and USA intial report on Omicrom from December 17th?

No one wants to keep going around in circles on covid, everyone is tired of it, but if we do not respond to this virus with one mindset, vaccines and lockdowns, we are going to keep repeating these surges with a new variant. Everytime that happens we reset the clock. We have tried the let everyone decide for themselves way. That will never work.

Soon this will turn into a global pick a side situation. No one is going to force a person to take the vaccine, but there will be strict limits on where that (I decide) person can go. It could even reach limiting where a (I decide) person can go for hospital visits, school, shop, job, you name it. Run by (I decide) only people.

This has quietly already started by the way. The right to refuse to service is up the vendor not the customer.

You are right it may never go away, but only for the (I decide) group. The rest of us, the majority, will be enjoying our lives like it was before.

Jeff Coffman 7 months, 3 weeks ago

AFH West will have to wait for another win by the Jayhawks.

Benjamin Shear 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Don't forget that the real AFH West is in Manhattan.

Frank Dunn 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt - I live in ACC land where the canceling team forfeits the game - resulting in a “W” for the other team. Same in the Big 12?

Tony Bandle 7 months, 3 weeks ago

They could come up with a new slogan for basketball players, "Get a shot, take a shot". Come to think of it, that would actually work for bartenders too.

Chad Smith 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So, how are the Harvard Crimson looking this year?

Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Just like the rest of the Ivy League - leftist and woke. In other words, nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake.

Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

What exactly does victory over COVID look like? Does it mean no more positive tests, no more variants of the virus, everyone vaccinated - what does it look like? No one has given a definitive answer to that question. Just like the failed wars on poverty, drugs, and terror, there is no clear or definitive mark where we can say, "We've beaten COVID". And that lack of a definitive answer only serves to justify indefinite government abuse of its authority and playing fast and loose with the citizens' constitutionally guaranteed liberties. The global overreaction to the COVID pandemic was never about saving lives and protecting people from getting sick; it was always about taking advantage of a crisis to expand government control over people's lives and condition them to accept totalitarianism as normal.

Michael Maris 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Watch out Bryce.......

You're not conforming to the Leftist Ideology on this site.... You're NOT a conforming Sheeple....

The WUHAN Virus is here to stay (thanks to the NIH, NIAD, Chi-Com Government and all of the participating Scientists (and their Financial Support system).....

It's not a matter of following "THE Science"..... It's a matter of following the MONEY........

BUT, hey you educated sheeple keep on doing your Leftist thing...

WUHAN virus is here for eternity (as the article below points out)

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Micky the world is not leftest. Is Every country on Earth wrong, or Leftist? NOPE

That drum you are beating is only 25-30% view.

Money is on the line you are right. So is our sanity.

I think due to a job you got the vaccine right? So you, yourself are following the money...

Facts suck don't they?

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually Bryce there is only 1 virus mankind could claim victory over. Every virus discovered is still viable. The only thing keeping them at bay, are vaccines. When the anti-vax movement started, long past viruses that had disappeared returned.

To "win" against any virus, viable hosts have to be isolated.

We are moving towards this. People are going to get very upset, but the time to worry about that anymore is just about here.

Brett McCabe 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually Bryce, when the vaccines were released, and it looked like we could get 70% immunization rates by July, Fauci and others specifically identified statistical markers based on infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths that could be viewed as effective containment of the virus. Please don’t pretend to actually want to know the information when you really just want to whine.

We had our chance. A free vaccine readily available nationwide. Effective containment by summer.

Patriots rushed to get it and do their part. Anti-American insurrectionionist nimrods preferred pig medicine and whining. And now your selfishness is costing everyone else a great chance of returning to normalcy.

Congratulations. Your war on your own country is succeeding. Once a confederate, always a confederate.

Micky Baker 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The vaccine is only 20% effective against infection in the USA. It is not a sterilizing vaccination. It is the first of its kind. The vaccination is effective in reducing the seriousness of the illness, but not at preventing people from getting it. This is a known fact.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Matt Micky is spreading misinformation. Please remove his post.

Robert Brock 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Trump declared war on COVID and then left it up to the states. Big mistake. Oklahoma. Missouri. Mississippi. They’s losers...

Bville Hawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Our leaders are playing wack-a-mole with a virus. The fact that the omicron variant is substantially less virulent than previous variants probably indicates that the pandemic is waning. Now, whether the pols, most major news media, and the left are willing to accept that is something else.

Matt Lindaman 7 months, 3 weeks ago

We are arguing over the wrong questions/statements. Yes, vaccines work, Yes, science changes (that is the definition of), Yes, half the politicians are not helpful. Yes, most of the college kids double vaccinated and boosted will be fine. But, here is the key question--how do we avoid overloading our hospital systems/health care? Yes, omicron is less severe, but if 30% are not willing to help the common good they will overfill the hospitals, creating a dangerous situation which will require consideration of curtailing or cancelling activities. If a higher percentage was into the common good there would still be some breakthrough and hospitilizations with this variant, but the word some is manageable. Beyond some or where we are heading and it is a disaster for the hospitals, it is the national guard called in for triage. Get that to a manageable level and we can answer all those questions of can we play through--more than likely in the affirmative. I am all for k-12 and college students being able to have as normal of an experience as possible in their education.

Bville Hawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

All good points, Matt, except you are omitting the fact that of the 30% unvaccinated how many of them now have natural immunity from having caught the virus and recovered. And they didn't see the health care system overwhelmed in South Africa where I think the vaccination rate is around 25% and omicron originated and is very, very widespread.

Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

um that is false. Read the reports please. Reinfection by those who survived an infection is happening at an alarming rate with Omi.

South Africa's surge overwhelmed their hospitals, we are in a sruge. The decline in cases in South Africa have not been documented by WHO. This is the tourist season in Africa, which is very important. When the surge started their tourist industry declined greatly. The world data will be updated Friday.

Bville Hawk 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Reinfection is kind of a non-starter, don't you think, if you don't get very sick or ill at all?

Carolyn Hunzicker 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Another cancelled game. Between cancelling and ESPN+ we won"t see many games.... Thanks KU sports you have cancelled 31 Basketball Football Girls Basketball and even more volleyball games,,,,,Must really need the $$$$$$$$$$

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