LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — USC’s football game against Colorado scheduled for Saturday at the Coliseum has been canceled and will be declared a no-contest, the Pac-12 conference announced Thursday.
The action was taken by the Pac-12 because USC does not have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game at a specific position group as a result of a number of positive COVID-19 cases.
Over the past week, two players have tested positive for COVID-19 and several others are isolating due to contact tracing.
“No-contesting this game is very disappointing to our student athletes and our fans,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “While all of us want to see our football student athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to the Pac-12 football program.”
The Pac-12 Conference has established minimum thresholds to play. A team must have at least 53 scholarship players available, including at least seven offensive linemen, one quarterback and four defensive linemen.
Coach Clay Helton told reporters Thursday “there are starters involved” among the two players who tested positive and five quarantined, none of whom have been publicly identified because of privacy laws.
“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 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.”
Shortly after Thursday’s announcement, Colorado scheduled a replacement game Saturday against San Diego State in Boulder, Colorado.
The Trojans’ next scheduled game is Friday, Dec. 4 at home against Washington State.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)