University of Southern California’s Saturday football game has officially been canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
On Thursday, Pac-12 made the announcement that the game will be declared a no-contest, USA Today reports.
The undefeated Trojans were scheduled to play against Colorado on Saturday, but on Tuesday, USC broke the news that one player had tested positive for COVID-19, and a day later a second player tested positive. The team followed contact tracing guidelines by quarantining five other players and canceling Tuesday’s practice. On Wednesday, the team resumed its in-person drills but canceled Thursday’s practice after another player began showing signs of the virus, Deadline reported.
This put the team under the minimum threshold set by the Pac-12 conference that a college football team must have at minimum 53 scholarship players—specifically 7 offensive linemen, one quarterback, and four defensive linemen—to play a game. USC does not meet those requirements.
The players’ identity has not been released, but Coach Clay Helton told the press that some starters are included. “We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday’s game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority,” Helton said in a statement posted to Twitter Thursday night. “Our players have worked hard since the summer not only to prepare for this season but to do so in a safe manner by following all health protocols. I applaud their discipline and sacrifice in doing so. We will continue to test and monitor our players, coaches, and staff and take guidance from health officials as we prepare for our remaining games.”
USC is scheduled to play again on December 4 against Washington State.