UW Football Game in Nebraska Canceled After a Dozen Players and Staff Catch COVID-19



By Julian Emerson

October 28, 2020

Badgers Head Coach Paul Chryst among those who test positive for coronavirus after one week of Big Ten play.

University of Wisconsin officials have cancelled Saturday’s football game between the Badgers and Nebraska after 12 people who are part of Wisconsin’s football program have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past five days. 

Among those who have tested positive are six football players and six members of the coaching staff, including head coach Paul Chryst, according to a UW-Madison news release issued Wednesday morning. Additional test results are pending, university officials said.

The Badgers’ test positivity rate for COVID-19 is near the threshold set by Big Ten Conference officials requiring teams to halt practices and games for at least seven days to assess and track the spread of the virus among teams. 

Big Ten rules state the game—scheduled for Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.—should be declared no contest, meaning it will not count as a win or a loss for either team. 

The decision to temporarily suspend football activity 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 in the release. “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.”

Chryst said he received notice of his positive COVID-19 test Tuesday and is isolating at home. He has not experienced symptoms of the virus, he said, and feels healthy. 

RELATED: No Fans, No Tailgating: UW Football Season Kicked Off, but See How Madison was a Ghost Town

“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play this week,” Chryst said in the release. “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.”

The Badgers, ranked No. 9 in the latest AP poll, opened their season on Oct. 24 with a 45-7 victory over Illinois. Wisconsin’s next scheduled game is at Madison against Purdue on Nov. 7.


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus


Local News

Related Stories
Share This