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An empty North Kehoe Field after all games were cancelled last weekend.

Coaches often talk about chemistry. Good teams develop bonds off the field that translate into success between the lines. But while locker rooms and buses are great for building camaraderie, they can also breed an undesirable chemistry.

Following the outbreak of the norovirus on campus last week, Athletic Director Bernard Muir called off all Georgetown athletic events scheduled for the weekend except for two volleyball matches.

“As soon as we got information on Thursday and heard that some of our student athletes came down with [the norovirus], that’s when the phone calls started and that’s really when we were visiting with other ADs, other administrators and other medical personnel, including our own,” Muir said. “By Thursday evening, early Friday morning, we were in the position where we were notifying coaches and programs, saying this isn’t right for us to go ahead and compete.”

uir estimated that 40 student athletes were affected by the norovirus, with a couple players on each team falling ill.

Despite this weekend’s cancellations, it appears that games for the upcoming week – men’s soccer has a home game tomorrow, and there is a full schedule of games for the weekend, including football’s homecoming game – will be played.

“Feedback I’m hearing today,” Muir said yesterday afternoon, “is that our kids are in much better shape – our programs are in much better shape.”

The football game at Colgate and the swimming team’s meet at American University were called off on Thursday evening, while the athletic department announced early Friday that men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, sailing, crew, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s tennis and men’s golf would not compete over the weekend. The volleyball team played two road games on Friday and Sunday.

uir said that there were many people involved in the process, including athletic department officials and medical personnel from all schools involved.

“It was a united front in terms of making a decision,” Muir said. “We hate that our student athletes didn’t have a chance to compete, but by the same token, we wanted to make sure that the safety and student welfare was first and foremost.”

The men’s soccer game at Notre Dame would have pit the fourth-place Hoyas against the top team in the Big East Blue Division. The undefeated women’s soccer team missed two home Big East games, and thus fell out of first place in the American Division of the Big East. The Hoyas remained at 3-0 in conference, while Notre Dame improved to 5-0 and Rutgers moved to 4-1.

The football game was set to be Colgate’s homecoming.

Bob Cornell, the director of athletic communications at Colgate, said that it was primarily health officials who made the decision to call off the game.

“It’s an unfortunate event, but there’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to go with the flow. It’s not something you can control,” Cornell said. “I think people were looking out for the welfare of both campuses. If this continued to take effect, it could have led to cancellations of more games down the line.”

Both Cornell and Muir were concerned that the norovirus would spread to the Colgate team if the game was played. Cornell said that Colgate went on with all of their other homecoming events for the weekend.

uir said that a 1998 football game between Duke and Florida State, in which Blue Devil players with the norovirus infected 11 Seminoles, was taken into account when Georgetown made it decision about cancelling games.

The cross country, golf, sailing, crew and tennis teams missed tournaments that cannot be rescheduled, but football, both soccer teams and the field hockey squad all had league contests over the weekend.

While Muir said that the athletic department is working on rescheduling all the games, he admitted that it will be difficult.

“We’re going to try to reschedule as many as we can, but we’re still working out the logistics,” he said. “It’s an unplayed game at this point. We’re trying to work through the details as to what could happen if we don’t play the game – what are the ramifications for that.”

– Hoya Staff Writer Doug Hance contributed to this report.

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