COVID-19 variants add more variables to playing in pandemic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Playing sports during the pandemic has potentially become more problematic as mutated forms of the coronavirus crop up. One of those variants prompted the University of Michigan to shut down its entire athletics department for two weeks. Since November, more than 715 men’s basketball games have been postponed, rearranged or simply called off. Most schools have pressed ahead and the hope is to hold league tournaments and the NCAA’s popular March Madness tournaments that begin in March. Experts say the variants could impact sports heavily in March and April.