NCAA Will Continue COVID-19 Testing at Final Four Despite Kim Mulkey's Comments

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey calls to her players during the first half of a college basketball game against Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Saturday, March 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The NCAA won't follow the advice of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey to abandon COVID-19 testing during the Final Four of the 2021 women's basketball tournament, per Michele Steele of ESPN.

"We WILL continue to test through the end of the championship on Sunday," an executive told Steele.

Mulkey said after her team's loss to UConn in the Elite Eight Monday night that the NCAA should stop testing to ensure no one is forced to miss any games:

"After the games today and tomorrow, there's four teams left, I think, on the men's side and the women's side. They need to dump the COVID testing. Wouldn't it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don't get to play in the Final Four? So you just need to forget the COVID tests and get the four teams playing in each Final Four and go battle it out."

The Baylor coach had tested positive for COVID-19 herself earlier in the season.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma tested positive in March and was forced to miss the early rounds of the NCAA tournament while quarantining. He returned to the sidelines in time for the Sweet 16.

Both the men's and women's tournaments have seen positive tests, although only one game has been canceled. The first-round game between VCU and Oregon was declared a no-contest in the men's tournament after multiple positive tests from the VCU side.

The NCAA has utilized strict protocols to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, including frequent testing and contract tracing. Even with the games increasing in importance, the rules will not be changed.