Cal v. Washington Football Game Canceled Due to Covid-19

Pac-12 Conference approved Cal's request to cancel the game

The California Golden Bears will not be facing off against the Washington Huskies this Saturday to start its football season.

“Saturday’s game between Cal and Washington will not be played,” the University of California, Berkeley, announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

The Pac-12 Conference said it would declare the game a no contest.

“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 league’s head office said in a prepared statement Thursday.

According to a statement prepared by the University of California, Berkeley, Wednesday evening, an unnamed Cal football player tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The player is asymptomatic but tested positive twice after a “rapid diagnostic” antigen test and a more accurate molecular polymerase chain reaction test.

California Head Coach Justin Wilcox said it was “fair” to describe the Saturday game as in jeopardy in a Wednesday evening press conference. He also said a “significant” number of football players are affected by the contact tracing protocols and the mandatory self-quarantine requirement.

Health and safety guidance from the Pac-12 Conference says anyone in close contact, which includes people within six feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes or had direct physical contact, including roommates, should be assumed contagious for the 48 hours before a positive test or the onset of Covid-19 symptoms.

The Pac-12 Conference announced in October that a team should have at least 53 scholarship players available and at least one quarterback, seven offensive lineman and four defensive lineman to play. Teams can decide to play a game with fewer players, which the University of California, Berkeley, did not choose to exercise Thursday.

Per Jake Curtis at Sports Illustrated’s Cal Sports Report, Cal will not play against Washington this season but is still eligible to compete for the Pac-12 title:

The Golden Bears are scheduled to play on Saturday, Nov. 14, against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Pac-12 Conference has not yet announced a kick-off time for the away game in Tempe, Ariz.