Rutgers cancels classes, Davenport ok

Published 8:16 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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Within minutes, Tara Davenport received a pair of text messages on Tuesday about the impact of the novel coronavirus on Rutgers University.

The first, from the university, was an alert, notifying parents that the university is cancelling classes until March 23 due to concerns over the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The second was from her daughter, Maori, a freshman on the Rutgers women’s basketball team. “She told me they were cancelling classes and she may not be able to stay on campus,” Davenport said. “But she also told me that she’s calm and she’s OK, so that’s good.”

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The New Jersey based school on Tuesday announced the cancellation of all classes until the end of spring break on March 23, with students asked to vacate the campus. Other universities that have cancelled on-campus and in-person classes include Harvard, Ohio State University, Princeton, Columbia and NYU.

The virus has infected more than 113,000 worldwide, including 975 in the United States. Worldwide more than 4,000 people have died; in the United States, 96 had died as of 6 p.m. Tuesday.

As of Tuesday evening, Rutgers coaches were waiting for meetings between the NCAA and the Big 10 conference officials to determine what changes, if any, will take place in the upcoming schedule and the NCAA women’s tournament.

“She couldn’t talk then, so I’m waiting for her to call me,” Tara said. “I’m just holding my phone in my hand, waiting to find out what happens next.”

But she also said during the course of Maori’s freshmen season she has been reassured by the communication and care the coaches have provided and is confident in the safety of her daughter. “She’s calm, she’s not worried,” Tara said. “And I’m, really not worried because I do feel they’ve done a wonderful job of keeping me abreast of everything.”

Davenport, a 2019 graduate of Charles Henderson High School, is averaging just under 10 minutes per game as freshman. She has 78 points this season to go along with 67 rebounds.