Cal football opener canceled

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The long wait for Cal’s college football season to start will grow longer.
Saturday’s game against Washington has been canceled and declared a no-contest after a Cal player tested positive for COVID-19this week, and several of his teammates are in quarantine after contact tracing.

The Bears do not have enough players to field a competitive roster, and the first of their seven-game, Pac-12-only schedule will not take place.

The infected player is at this point asymptomatic.

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision making,” athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. “We have been diligent in the development and execution of our return-to-play plan, and our goal all along has been to provide a safe environment and to mitigate risk as much as possible. We know how much our team and the greater Cal Athletics community was looking forward to the start of the football season this weekend. While we are disappointed in our inability to play this week, we are confident that we have made the right decision. As we have seen across the country, we knew that there would be COVID-19 challenges, and we will continue to follow our protocols to support the health of our student-athletes.”

This is the first positive test within the Cal program since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October.

“It is very disappointing that we will not be opening our 2020 season this Saturday night against Washington,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “My heart goes out first and foremost to all of our players who have been through so much since the pandemic began and worked so hard under difficult circumstances to prepare themselves to play. They have done so well following the protocols that have been put in place, but as we are finding out first-hand, playing football during 2020 is a fragile situation.”


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