Another major sporting event has been affected by COVID-19. This time around, it comes in the form of the Wisconsin Badgers football team having to cancel their matchup against the Nebraska Cornhuskers due to a coronavirus outbreak within the squad. The game will not be rescheduled.
These two sides were supposed to face off on Saturday, but with the rising number of cases within the Badgers, they have been left with no choice but to forfeit the game. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez provided a statement as he tried to shed some light on the university’s decision:
“We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first,” Alvarez said in a statement, via Mark Schlabach of ESPN. “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.”
According to the report, no less than 12 people within the program have tested positive for COVID-19. Among them were six student-athletes and six staff members, which includes team head coach Paul Chryst.
It is worth noting that Big Ten protocols stipulate that any athlete who contracts the virus will be required to sit out at least 21 days. Earlier in the week, it was confirmed that Badgers star quarterback Graham Mertz was one of the members of the squad who contracted the virus, so he will be out for several weeks. Needless to say, the same goes for the other players who have likewise produced positive test results.