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Sports

NIU athletics to observe a week of healing

Northern Illinois Athletics will join with the rest of the Northern Illinois University community in observing a week of healing in the wake of a shooting on the NIU campus which claimed the lives of five students last Thursday, Feb. 14. As a result, Northern Illinois will not compete in any athletics events - either home or away - until Feb. 25, 2008. A total of 25 Huskie athletic competitions between Feb. 15 and Feb. 24 will be canceled or rescheduled. “At a time like this, it is critically important for us to focus on coming together as a university to overcome this terrible tragedy,” Phillips said. “To be certain, the welfare of our student-athletes is uppermost in the minds of our coaches and staff. Therefore, the appropriate date to return to the athletic fields will directly reflect the academic timeline announced by President Peters on Saturday.” NIU President Dr. John Peters said on Saturday that faculty and staff will return to work on Tuesday, Feb. 19 and classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 25. Saturday's announcement by Phillips affects 17 additional competitions in the sports of men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, women's indoor track and field, men's and women's tennis and women's gymnastics. NIU previously announced that all athletic competitions for the weekend of Feb. 16-18 - a total of eight events - would not be played. Northern Illinois will work with officials of the Mid-American Conference and the opposing teams on the possible rescheduling of some competitions. Contests that will not be played on their scheduled dates include women's basketball games at Central Michigan (Feb. 19) and at Toledo (Feb. 23), men's basketball games at Toledo (Feb. 20) and home versus Tennessee State (Feb. 24) and the season-opening competitions for softball and baseball on Feb. 24 at Louisville and at Texas Tech, respectively. The Huskies will return to action on Monday, Feb. 25 when the NIU men's golf team opens its spring season at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C. on Feb. 25-26. The first home contest will be a MAC women's basketball game between Northern Illinois and Western Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the NIU Convocation Center scheduled for 7 p.m.

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