Covid Hindering College Football Again

Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 5:44 PM EST
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-UNDATED (AP) - The Pac-12′s football schedule has been scrambled for a second straight week, with positive COVID-19 tests leading to the cancellation of both the Arizona State-California and UCLA-Utah games.

The Sun Devils' home opener was nixed Friday because of several positive COVID-19 tests among the team’s players and coaching staff, including head coach Herm Edwards. The school said that the positive tests put the football team below 53 available scholarship players, which is the minimum allowed according to the league’s cancellation policy.

Later Friday, Utah also determined it didn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game because of positive COVID-19 cases and the resulting isolation of players under contact tracing protocols.

Meanwhile, the Southeastern Conference announced it will use Dec. 19, the day of its conference championship game, as a make-up date for regular-season games. The SEC postponed four games this week, including two that could not be immediately rescheduled because two of the teams involved already have make-up games set for Dec. 12.

In addition, the SEC decided that for the rest of the season it will allow schedule adjustments to be made on Monday nights. Teams that can play will be permitted to find available opponents if their scheduled opponent for the coming Saturday can’t play. Those hastily scheduled matchups can only be made between teams already scheduled to play each other and no rematches will be permitted.

In other virus-related developments:

- No. 15 Coastal Carolina’s game Saturday against Troy has been canceled because of a “combination of positive COVID-19 tests and injuries to a specific position group within the Troy football program.” The school said the two teams and the Sun Belt Conference are working to reschedule the game.

- UAB has called off a second consecutive football game because of positive COVID-19 tests. The Blazers scrapped a trip to Texas next week to play UTEP. The game had already been moved to Midland, about 300 miles east of El Paso, because of a massive surge of coronavirus cases in the far West Texas city. The game was supposed to be played next Friday. The decision not to go to Texas came a day after UAB called off a home game against North Texas. In both cases, officials say they might try to reschedule the games. UTEP is still scheduled to play at UTSA on Saturday.