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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt women’s basketball discontinues 2020-21 season

Vanderbilt women’s basketball has cancelled the remainder of its 2020-21 season due to health and safety concerns.
A Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball Player dribbles down the court. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt announced Monday that its women’s basketball program will not play the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to “a combination of COVID-19 related circumstances, opt outs and injuries,” according to a press release.

“We fully support and respect the decision of our student-athletes. Their health, safety and well-being have always been, and will continue to be, a top priority,” athletics director Candice Storey Lee said. “We know that this was a tough call for them, in a year full of tough calls, and a disappointing outcome for the student-athletes and the program.”

The Commodores’ roster has been depleted in recent weeks, as they had just seven active student-athletes for its last contest on Jan. 17, an 80-73 loss to No. 12 Kentucky. They stood at 4-4 (0-3 in SEC play) at the time of the announcement.

“As a staff we have and will always prioritize the health and safety our student-athletes,” head coach Stephanie White said. “We are coaching a group of young women who have been resilient in dealing with opt-outs, injuries, COVID-19 protocols as well as the physical, mental and emotional toll that comes with COVID-19. We respect our student-athletes’ decision and support them as we continue to move forward.”

Prior to its first game of the season, multiple Vanderbilt players opted out due to concerns regarding COVID-19. The Commodores then lost two more players due to health conditions: sophomore guard Demi Washington on Dec. 7 announced that she would miss the season after being diagnosed with myocarditis, then a university spokesperson confirmed on Jan. 17 that senior guard Enna Pehadzic would miss the remainder of the season with an undisclosed injury. Pehadzic was averaging 13.1 points in 31.4 minutes per game prior to her injury.

The program was forced to postpone or cancel multiple games so far this season. Due to a combination of injuries, positive tests and subsequent contact tracing, the Commodores first paused all basketball-related activities on Nov. 17, then cancelled their first three nonconference games against Tennessee Tech, Middle Tennessee State and Texas Tech. They came back on Dec. 5 and played five-straight games before entering another COVID-19-induced shutdown, this time cancelling a nonconference game against Samford and three SEC games against Florida, Mississippi State and Missouri.

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About the Contributor
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
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VU Alumnus
3 years ago

Vanderbilt alumni are embarrassed by this team which refuses to stand for the national anthem.

VU Soph (She/Him/Zirs)
3 years ago

Why don’t they just get some players from the men’s team? The reverse worked for football.