College football game featuring Top 10 team canceled after head coach tests positive for COVID
The Wisconsin Badgers, ranked No.9 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, announced Wednesday that all team activities are paused and will not play Saturday against Nebraska due to a COVID-19 outbreak that includes a positive test by head coach Paul Chryst.
The joint decision to pause football activities and cancel Saturday’s game was made by Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, in consultation with the Big Ten Conference. The game will not be rescheduled.
“We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first,” Alvarez said. “Over the past several days we have seen a rising number of student-athletes and staff contract the virus. The responsible thing for us to do is to pause football-related activities for at least seven days.”
“We thank and appreciate our athletic trainers, doctors and public health staff who are supporting the health and safety of our student-athletes and program,” said Blank.
As of Wednesday morning (Oct. 28), a total of 12 people within the Wisconsin football program had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days. That figure includes six student-athletes and six staff members, including Chryst. Additional test results are pending.
“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said. “I informed my staff and the team this morning and am currently isolating at home. I had not been experiencing any symptoms and feel good as of this morning.
“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week. But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”
Wisconsin’s next scheduled game is at home against Purdue on Nov. 7.