MADISON, Wisc. — The University of Wisconsin has canceled Saturday’s home game against Purdue.
It’s the second straight game the 10th-ranked Badgers have called off as COVID-19 cases within their team continue to rise. Wisconsin school leaders said on Tuesday that three more players and two additional staffers have tested positive since Saturday, bringing the program’s total number of active cases to 27.
“I’m concerned with the health and safety of the guys,” said athletic director Barry Alvarez. “No one wants to be on that field any more than I do. But I’m not going to lose track of priorities.”
This game is now the 38th to be either postponed or canceled in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) this season. The Big Ten saying the game will not be rescheduled.
“While we looked forward to our game this weekend against Wisconsin, we understand the Badgers’ decision to cancel based on medical advice and their need to control any additional transmission of the virus within their team and staff,” Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a statement. “The health, well-being, and safety of all student-athletes, coaches, and staff remains the top priority for the entire Big Ten and will continue to guide decision-making.”
The Big Ten is requiring each team to have played at least six games to be eligible for the conference championship this year. That Badgers have already played one game and have had two canceled. They have five games remaining on their schedule.
“We don’t leave ourselves much wiggle room right now, and we know that,” Alvarez said. “But hopefully we can get this corralled and get back on the field and playing.”