Bow Down to COVID-19, Huskies Opener at Cal Declared a No Contest
The 41st FBS game to be nationally canceled, and the first in the Pac-12's tenuous at best, seven-game, seven-week schedule, is the Washington Huskies at California Golden Bears season opener. It was supposed to happen on Saturday, but now will not be played at all, and not rescheduled receiving the label "no contest."
It was not the Pac-12, but Bay Area health officials citing specific contact tracing protocols, that ultimately forced the decision. Washington was willing to host the game on short notice, had that been a viable option, but alas, it was not.
The Pac-12 Conference released a statement that said, “The Pac-12 has approved a request from Cal to cancel the Washington at Cal football game scheduled for November 7, this decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Cal not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a positive football student-athlete COVID-19 case and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols."
The statement continued, "Under Conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest. The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 football programs will continue to be our number one priority.”
Cal based the decision on "the Golden Bears’ inability to field a competitive roster following the results of one positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing.”
The positive test was the program’s first since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October. As of Thursday afternoon, the student who tested positive is asymptomatic.
Numerous college football games have already been played nationally involving teams that had players test positive the same week. But it’s possible Cal’s game against Arizona State on Nov. 14 could also be in jeopardy.
The Pac-12’s minimum roster mandate calls for at least 53 scholarship players, seven scholarship offensive linemen, one scholarship quarterback and four scholarship defensive linemen to play a game.
The disappointment continues for Husky football fans. The season was supposed to start at Michigan, September 5th, next to be scrubbed was Stanford on September 26th and now, no dice this upcoming Saturday against Cal. Oregon State at home is supposed to be next for UW, so they will start to prepare for the contest as if THAT game is finally the season opener.