Chicago State’s Lance Irvin Won’t Coach This Season

Chicago State men’s basketball head coach Lance Irvin has yet to receive a response from his administration after informing the administration nearly one week ago that he is not comfortable coaching this season due to medical concerns after being a two-time cancer survivor.

“I’m not comfortable coaching this season because my doctor suggested that it wasn’t the right thing to do for my health,” Irvin told Stadium on Tuesday night. “She said it’s not worth the risk based on the current COVID pandemic.”

Irvin, who is 7-54 in his two prior seasons with the Cougars, was initially diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and had a bone marrow transplant in 2012 after the cancer returned.

Irvin provided the administration – including athletic director Elliott Charles –  a letter from his doctor, Wendy Stock. In the letter, which was obtained by Stadium, Stock says she has been treating Irvin for more than a decade for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

“While I am thrilled to report that the leukemia remains in remission, patients who have undergone a bone marrow transplant as Lance, remain immunocompromised for more than a decade following the transplant,” Stock wrote. “Given this high risk state and the rampant prevalence of COVID-19 in the country, I feel that Lance should not be involved in the current basketball season.”

Chicago State provided Stadium with a statement:

“While we cannot comment on the specifics of the matter as it relates to an employee of the University, we would like to emphasize that we will follow all applicable laws. As an institution, we are committed to supporting the well being of all employees.”

Irvin’s doctor sent the e-mail to Charles on Nov. 19, but a source close to the university told Stadium that there is a specific protocol that Irvin needs to go through, and hasn’t done that yet. The school has yet to release a statement that Irvin will not be coaching the team when it opens the season today at 4 p.m. against Ohio University in Champaign, Ill.