UTAH, Nov. 13, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utes’ second scheduled game, this one set for Saturday with UCLA Bruins, has been canceled.
“Based on a high number of COVID-19 cases in the Utah football program, the resulting isolation of additional student-athletes due to contact tracing and on the recommendation of local and regional health officials, Utah will be unable to play its scheduled Nov. 14 game at UCLA,” says a statement issued Friday by U of U Athletics officials.
“With an additional positive result today, there are currently 17 confirmed positive cases among Utah football student-athletes, coaches and staff and an additional 11 members of the program are now in quarantine due to contact tracing protocols, putting Utah below the Pac-12 threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes.”
Last weekend’s Utes’ game, against the Arizona Wildcats, was also canceled due to COVID cases in Utah’s team.
Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan has maintained communication with the Pac-12 and UCLA Athletics Director Martin Jarmond throughout the week about the football program’s status, and the decision was made on Friday and announced by the Pac-12, the statement says.
“Our community is especially hard-hit right now by this virus, and our team and our department have been doing everything possible to follow protocols and avoid the spread of the virus,” Harlan said in a prepared statement.
“We were doing very well, day-by-day, and it is extremely difficult for our student-athletes and coaches that they will not be able to compete again this week. We also acknowledge the disappointment for our fans, and we know how upsetting it is for UCLA’s football program. We have maintained close communication with UCLA and we were very hopeful this game would be played.
“As I have said from the beginning of the pandemic, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority and guides all of our decisions and we are following the recommendations of medical professionals.”
Head coach Kyle Whittingham also shared remarks:
“We went into this week knowing it was a day-to-day situation,” his statement says. “”We have been doing everything we can under the circumstances to prepare for the game and follow all guidelines and protocols. As is always the case, the health and safety of our student-athletes come first.”