News broke from a source and was later confirmed by Wilner that the Utes would not be able to make the game against UCLA, marking the second week in a row that Utah was unable to field a team to the limits of the COVID-19, contact tracing protocol limits set in place by the Pac-12.
This news also came after Utah offensive lineman Nick Ford placed blame on LA County for not allowing him to play despite multiple negative test results.
Ultimately, it just looks a lot like a messy situation and one that we’ll all have to get used to apparently during this ‘playing a football during a global pandemic’ situation we’re all in.
But then it got messier.
Rumors started swirling about the Oregon State vs Washington game and whether or not Oregon State would be able to play. While that’s been confirmed to be happening, we’re swirling back around to the potential of seeing the Utes take part in a game, on Sunday mind you, against the California Golden Bears.
Cal saw their second game in a row canceled after they missed out on their first game due to their own coronavirus concerns. And they had their second game, Saturday’s scheduled contest against Arizona State, canceled due to ASU’s coaching staff testing positive.
So the rumor mill in ful-go mode and the rest of the county watching as the Pac-12 continues to be a laughing stock, the Bruins are left opponent-less, for the time being.
Expect Wilner to be right here, however, and expect to see the Bruins in action against the Bears on Sunday potentially.
This is a developing story, and one we’ll stay on top of through the day and into the weekend.
[UPDATE — 12:20 pm] Utah AD Mark Harlan and head coach Kyle Whittingham respond with statements:
“Our community is especially hard-hit right now by this virus, and our team and our department have been doing everything possible to follow protocols and avoid the spread of the virus,” said Harlan. “We were doing very well, day-by-day, and it is extremely difficult for our student-athletes and coaches that they will not be able to compete again this week. We also acknowledge the disappointment for our fans, and we know how upsetting it is for UCLA’s football program. We have maintained close communication with UCLA and we were very hopeful this game would be played. As I have said from the beginning of the pandemic, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority and guides all of our decisions and we are following the recommendations of medical professionals.”
“We went into this week knowing it was a day-to-day situation,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “We have been doing everything we can under the circumstances to prepare for the game and follow all guidelines and protocols. As is always the case, the health and safety of our student-athletes come first.”