The Pac-12 announced that Saturday’s football game between UCLA and Utah has been canceled.
The conference made the decision under its 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 players testing positive for the coronavirus, and the isolation of additional members under contact tracing protocols.
UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond believes it was the right decision for all parties involved.
“I share in the disappointment felt by our football student-athletes, coaches and staff at the news of the cancellation of our home opener tomorrow against the University of Utah,” Jarmond said in a statement. “The health and safety of Pac-12 student-athletes, coaches and staff remains our guiding principle. As we have said all along, this season is all about remaining flexible, and our team will stay ready to play.”
Utah athletic director Mark Harlan provided insight into the number of cases that impacted the decision to cancel the game during an interview with ESPN700 on Friday morning.
“We’ve been on the edge all week,” Harlan said. “We had a positive that took us up to 17 total positives in the program. … We reached a point where we didn’t think it was safe to travel to UCLA.”
Eleven other members are being quarantined because of contact tracing. This has led to the program to be under the threshold for the minimum number of scholarship players available.
Harlan believes the number of unavailable players could go up after a thorough contact tracing Friday is complete. USC is scheduled to play at Utah on Nov. 21, but that game may also be in jeopardy.
The UCLA-Utah game was originally scheduled for Friday when the schedule was released in early October, but was pushed back on Monday to allow time for Utah’s players to recover.