ASU football cancels game versus Utah with its COVID-19 outbreak still lingering

The Sun Devils canceled their third consecutive game of the 2020 season

ASU football canceled its upcoming game versus Utah due to a prolonged COVID-19 outbreak within the program involving multiple players and coaches testing positive for the virus. 

ASU's invocation of the Pac-12's cancellation policy was done "on account of return-to-play protocols involving CDC-prescribed quarantines by virtue of contact tracing and cardiac testing evaluation results," according to a statement made Tuesday by Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson.

The number of players who remain in quarantine leaves the team without enough scholarship players to meet the Pac-12's minimum number of scholarship players required to play a game.

"The timing of the previously reported positive results coupled with the return-to-play guidelines have stretched over parts of three weeks, which makes it unsafe for several of our players to compete this Sunday," Anderson said in the statement, just two days after the game was moved back a day to Nov. 29.

Following their loss to USC in the first week of the Pac-12 season, the Sun Devils have now canceled three consecutive games.

"We are continuing to take every precaution to safeguard the health and welfare of our student-athletes and staff, in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee's procedures. The student-athletes are receiving the appropriate medical care," Anderson said in the statement. "We will continue to monitor our testing results and stay in close communication with our University, local public health officials and the Pac-12 Conference."

The cancellation marks Utah's third game to be canceled this season. Utah played its first game of the season last week, a 33-17 loss to USC.

"I sympathize for our student-athletes and everyone associated with Sun Devil Athletics, as well as Sun Devil Nation," Anderson said in the statement. "This also has an impact on the University of Utah football program and we extend our appreciation for their understanding of the situation."

ASU now only has three remaining games on its schedule: Dec. 5 versus UCLA, Dec. 11 at UA and a game to be scheduled on either Dec. 18 or Dec. 19 against an opponent that has yet to be determined.


Reach the reporter at cfahrend@asu.edu and follow @chris_drop_ on Twitter.

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