COVID-19 continues to sideline Division I basketball programs in the Capital Region, and this time it has reached the top person working the sideline for the Siena College men.
Saints head coach Carmen Maciariello was one of the program’s Tier 1 personnel members to test positive recently for COVID-19.
Maciariello revealed that on Tuesday afternoon during his weekly appearance on “Levack” on ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team (WTMM-FM).
Siena announced it had paused in-person team activities for the men’s program because of “multiple” COVID-19 positive test results found from tests conducted on the team last Wednesday.
The NCAA defines Tier 1 personnel within a basketball program as players, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, medical staff and equipment staff.
Maciariello told radio host Jeff Levack that when the Saints returned from a road trip to Marist on Sunday, January 31, one of his players wasn’t feeling well, at which point Maciariello quarantined himself that Monday and began experiencing symptoms like backaches, headaches and night sweats.
He said has been improving this week and would like to return to practice on Friday or Saturday, pending approval from the state Department of Health. The 8-2 Saints aren’t scheduled to play again until Feb. 20-21 at Niagara.
“One morning I woke up, I felt like I’d run a marathon. I was drenched. I’ve never been that sweaty in my life,” Maciariello told Levack.
“I never really anticipated what it would feel like,” Maciariello said later in the interview. “I never wanted to get it. We did everything we could to stay safe. It’s scary, just because you’re getting different pains you never had before.
“I was getting lower back pain that I was thinking, ‘Oh, I just ran three miles and everything feels good and now is it because I’m sleeping funny?’ But I was getting some shooting pains in the base of my skull and my head was pounding. It wasn’t fun for a couple days.”
Maciariello, a Shenendehowa High School as well as Siena graduate, has been isolating in an apartment above his parents’ garage and has been conversing via Facetime with his wife and two young children.
“We’ll get through it,” he told Levack. “We’ve been here before, we know what we have to do and we’ll come back stronger.”
Meanwhile, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at UAlbany had developments on Tuesday related to COVID-19.
Two Tier 1 members of the men’s basketball personnel group will be withheld from all team activities due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols until Feb. 16.
Only these two members of the Tier 1 group are affected, the school athletic department said on Tuesday. As a result, the men’s games against UMass Lowell this weekend will proceed as planned.
The athletic department announced that the women’s basketball program had paused in-person team activities following a “presumptive positive test result for COVID-19 within the team’s Tier 1 personnel group.”
“Further testing and contact tracing are underway to determine the length of the pause and whether any additional measures are necessary,” the release said.
The team’s games this weekend against Hartford are currently still on the schedule.
The UAlbany women are 5-5 in America East Conference play and 6-8 overall. The team had a stretch of more than three weeks between its sixth and seventh games because of a program pause, but had played games on four consecutive weekends since that point.
The UAlbany men’s team resumed practicing last week after a pause of its own.