The first weekend of the 2020 Pac-12 football season has already hit a snag, as the league announced Thursday that Saturday's Washington-Cal game has been canceled. Cal does not have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game due to a COVID-19 case and subsequent contact tracing, the league announced. The game will be deemed a "no contest," according to the league.
"It is very disappointing that we will not be opening our 2020 season this Saturday night against Washington," Cal coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. "My heart goes out first and foremost to all of our players who have been through so much since the pandemic began and worked so hard under difficult circumstances to prepare themselves to play. They have done so well following the protocols that have been put in place, but as we are finding out first-hand, playing football during 2020 is a fragile situation."
Cal said in its statement that the positive test within the program was the first since the start of daily testing in early October and that the player who tested positive is asymptomatic. But as a result of the positive case, "several football student-athletes are in quarantine due to contact tracing," the statement said.
"The health and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision making," athletic director Jim Knowlton said in the statement. "We have been diligent in the development and execution of our return-to-play plan, and our goal all along has been to provide a safe environment and to mitigate risk as much as possible. We know how much our team and the greater Cal Athletics community was looking forward to the start of the football season this weekend. While we are disappointed in our inability to play this week, we are confident that we have made the right decision. As we have seen across the country, we knew that there would be COVID-19 challenges, and we will continue to follow our protocols to support the health of our student-athletes."