Ohio State has learned that this weekend's rivalry game with the University of Michigan has been cancelled. The Wolverines are not healthy enough to play as they continue to deal with a CoVID-19 outbreak in their locker room.
Here is the official release from the University of Michigan:
The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced Tuesday (Dec. 8) that an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and student-athletes in quarantine over the past week will result in the cancellation of Saturday's (Dec. 12) scheduled game at Ohio State. This decision was made after conversations with medical experts, health department officials and university administration.
"The number of positive tests has continued to trend in an upward direction over the last seven days," said Warde Manuel, U-M's Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "We have not been cleared to participate in practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to field a team due to COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantining required of close-contact individuals. This decision is disappointing for our team and coaches but their health and safety is paramount, and it will always come first in our decision-making."
Michigan will continue daily testing with hopes of getting back on the practice field when cleared by medical professionals. The Big Ten will hold its Champions Week of games on Dec. 18-19.
The teams have played every year since 1918.
According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, Michigan was going to be without roughly 45 players this weekend should the game have been played.
Whether or not the Ohio State Buckeyes will play a game on Saturday against another opponent has not been determined yet. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg is reporting that the conference athletic directors will meet tomorrow morning to discuss how to move forward.
As of right now, the Buckeyes have not played enough games to qualify for the Big Ten championship game. But Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said last week he thinks the league will come to Ohio State's aid if this situation arose.
The Big Ten has issued a press release, which closed by saying the following:
"The conference is committed to transparency and will continue to collaborate with its member institution stakeholders to determine Big Ten Football Championship Game participation requirements as well as tiebreakers."
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