After a rising number of COVID-19 cases within the Wisconsin Badgers football program, UW made the decision to pause all team-related activities for at least seven days. As a result, the teams game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday will no longer be played.
The decision to pause football activities was made by both Barry Alvarez and Chancellor Rebecca Blank after conferring with the Big Ten Conference. The game will not be rescheduled. You can read up on the full statement below, emphasis ours:
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin football team will pause all team-related activities for at least seven days due to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within the Badgers program.
The team’s scheduled game against Nebraska on Saturday will not be played.
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 head coach Paul 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.
Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez and head coach Paul Chryst will be available to the media via Zoom at 3 p.m. CT today.
According to the release put out a total of 12 people within the Wisconsin football program had tested positive for COVID-19 over the course of the past five days. Six of those are student athletes and six of those are staff members. Head coach Paul Chryst has tested positive via a PCR test and is isolating at home. More tests are also currently pending.
Now that the official jargon is out of the way, let’s just say it. This freaking sucks. It sucks for the players, it sucks for the coaches, it sucks for Nebraska, it sucks for the Big Ten, it sucks for everyone. I don’t know what else to really say other than that. We’ll continue to update the story as we know more, but I think “this really sucks” just about wraps it up for now.
A couple of quick additional notes:
- Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois has had no positive tests so far this week.
- For coaches who get COVID, league protocols put them in a 10-day quarantine. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did the math and “if today is Day 1, that means Day 10 is Nov. 6. That is one day before next scheduled game, vs. Purdue.”