The Pac-12’s 2020 football season hasn’t even started, but it’s already off to a nightmarish start. This weekend’s conference game between the Arizona Wildcats and Utah Utes has been cancelled.
The Utah Utes have reportedly experience a team-wide coronavirus outbreak, per the Pac-12’s announcement. Utah’s high case count has forced the conference to cancel this weekend’s game, which was supposed to take place in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
“The Pac-12 has approved a request from Utah to cancel the Arizona at Utah football game scheduled for November 7,” the Pac-12’s statement reads. “This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Utah not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols.”
Arizona at Utah is the second game of the Pac-12’s opening-weekend that has been cancelled. Washington at Cal was also declared a no contest earlier this week as Cal deals with the effects of the pandemic.
Unlike the UW-Cal game, though, Utah’s situation deals directly with high case counts, per Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner. Cal, meanwhile, had to call off this weekend’s game because of contact tracing after one player tested positive.
Utah's issue is not contract tracing/quarantine – it's case counts. Rates are high in SLC.
I would assume game at UCLA next week is in serious jeopardy
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) November 6, 2020
This could spell disaster for the Utes, who were scheduled to begin their already shortened season on Saturday.
Depending on how many Utah players tested positive, the program’s entire season could be in jeopardy. But there’s no point in jumping to conclusions just yet.
The Pac-12 has now cancelled two of the conference’s opening-weekend games.
Arizona State-USC, UCLA-Colorado, Stanford-Oregon and Washington State-Oregon State are still on schedule, for now.