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Wisconsin football: Barry Alvarez meets with media, stresses health and safety of players

Alvarez also noted that basketball and hockey haven’t seen any cases and are still on track to start seasons.

Western Kentucky v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon, Wisconsin Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez met with local and national media to discuss the cancellation of the scheduled game against the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday as well as the COVID-19 outbreak that is still running through the football team.

While the Badgers are not yet at the “red/red” level that the Big Ten Conference laid out as a level which would trigger a mandatory cancellation, Alvarez said that UW was seeing new cases every day which is why the game was canceled.

Alvarez, a notoriously competitive guy, said that no one wants to see the Badgers out on the field more than he does but that he has to keep his priorities in order. His top priority is the health and safety of the players and staff and not whether or not Wisconsin reaches the games minimum to play in the conference title game.

Some other notes from Alvarez’s availability:

  • Alvarez said he felt confident that UW had enough depth to play this weekend if numbers were down, testing-wise, but not every player was able to play.
  • “Looking at their numbers, I don’t see any issues with those teams,” Alvarez said about basketball and hockey, two sports scheduled to get started soon.
  • Alvarez says he got a call from former Wisconsin, and Philadelphia Eagles, CB Troy Vincent, who now works with the NFL, and Vincent sent the Badgers a bunch of info on how the NFL is doing things to try and help UW out.

A couple of updates (Tuesday, 10/3/20 at 3:27 p.m. CST) for you:

  • Badgers are doing PCR tests every day this week.
  • When we received the audio and video of Alvarez’s media availability, UW wanted to clarify one thing that he had said: “On his media call, Coach Alvarez referenced some guys being able to use the weight room this week. I was able to clarify that he was referencing a group of players who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and are outside the Big Ten 21-day return window. They are able to participate in physically distanced strength and conditioning activities.”
  • UW still isn’t certain where this outbreak began and, quite frankly, even if they do find out I doubt we will ever hear about it.