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Sports Wisconsin's game against Nebraska canceled with Badgers unable to play due to COVID-19 protocol

20:05  28 october  2020
20:05  28 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin’s Big Ten football game this Saturday at Nebraska has been canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff, including head coach Paul Chryst, Badgers officials announced Wednesday morning.

Wisconsin’s test positivity rate approached the threshold set by the league that requires teams to stop regular practice and competition for a minimum of seven days and then reassess the situation.

According to Big Ten protocols, the game should be declared no contest and will be neither a victory nor a loss for either team.

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"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 school said in a release. "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.”

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: Wisconsin coach Pau Chryst walks on the field during warmups prior to the team's game against Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium. © Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports Wisconsin coach Pau Chryst walks on the field during warmups prior to the team's game against Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium.

Said Blank, “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.”

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As of Wednesday morning, 12 people within the football program had tested positive for COVID-19 in the past five days: six players and six staff members, including Chryst. Additional test results are pending.

Chryst is the second Big Ten coach known to contract the coronavirus. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm was the first and was forced to miss his team’s opener, a 24-20 victory over Iowa.

“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said in the statement. “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.”

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The Badgers, No. 11 in the Amway Coaches Poll, opened the season with a 45-7 victory over Illinois. Their next scheduled game is Nov. 7 against visiting Purdue.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wisconsin's game against Nebraska canceled with Badgers unable to play due to COVID-19 protocol

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