OSU game against Illinois Saturday canceled due to COVID-19 test results

Sports

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Saturday’s game between Ohio State University and the University of Illinois has been canceled by OSU after further positive COVID-19 tests Friday.

In a press release from the university, the Department of Athletics announced it has also paused all team-related football activities.

The release did not state how many positive tests it received.

The announcement comes just hours after head football coach Ryan Day was announced to have tested positive for the virus.

“We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week,” said Director of Athletic Gene Smith. “The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”

According to the release, the program will resume team activities when the medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on COVID-19 guidelines set by the Big Ten.

On Friday, the football program completed a round of point of contact daily testing. All team members and Tier I coaches and support staff had polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests out of an “abundance of caution” to ensure everyone traveling for Saturday’s game is confirmed negative.

This is the second game of the Big Ten season Ohio State has had canceled, putting the Buckeyes in a precarious position to compete for a Big Ten and national title. The Buckeyes were fourth in the first College Football Playoff rankings released earlier this week.

Big Ten rules require teams to play at least six game in this abbreviated season to be eligible to play in the conference championship game. The minimum could drop if the average number of games played by all Big Ten teams falls below six.

Ohio State (4-0) has only two game remaining on its regular-season schedule: at Michigan State on Dec. 5 and home against Michigan on Dec. 12. The Big Ten championship game is Dec. 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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