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N.C. State cancels summer basketball trip to Italy amid security concerns

NC State v Louisville

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27: Head coach Mark Gottfried of the North Carolina State Wolfpack shouts against the Louisville Cardinals in the first half of the game during the East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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N.C. State has put together a promising roster this spring thanks to some late additions in the Class of 2016. The Wolfpack and head coach Mark Gottfried had originally planned to take a foreign trip to Italy to get some exhibition games this summer in preparation of the season, but the school has opted to postpone the trip amid security concerns.

With a travel alert being issued by the U.S. State Department for Europe in light of recent events, N.C. State decided to move its overseas trip to 2017. The USA Today’s Dan Wolken spoke with N.C. State senior associate athletics director Chris Boyer on the matter and some of the school’s thinking.

College basketball programs are allowed to take one foreign trip in the summer every four years, a trip which many programs take advantage of for extra live game experience and practice time.

From Wolken’s story:

“It was done with an abundance of caution based on what we see going on in world events,” senior associate athletics director Chris Boyer told USA TODAY Sports. “There was a lot of thoughtful consideration that went into the decision.”

Boyer said there was no specific threat that concerned N.C. State but noted that the U.S. State Department’s travel alert for Europe was extended to Aug. 31. Though N.C. State does not prohibit university-sponsored travel to countries under a travel alert, the school’s athletic administration and basketball coach Mark Gottfried had monitored recent events Europe and terror-related incidents around the world including the bombing this week at Istanbul’s airport.

This could be the first of many programs to make this sort of move this summer. While some programs take trips to other places that could be considered safer at the moment, it’s not too surprising the N.C. State decided to wait a year to avoid the travel alert.

It probably won’t hurt N.C. State because they have a talented roster, but they are adding a lot of new pieces that will be counted on to gel by the regular season. The overseas trip this summer would have given this group some much-needed game experience but they’ll have to build chemistry on campus instead.