The USC-California football game scheduled for Saturday has been postponed, Cal announced Tuesday.
“It was a difficult decision to postpone this Saturday’s game against USC,” Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. “We know how important every one of our games is to our student-athletes, especially our seniors who have been incredible representatives of the program, but it was the right thing to do.
“Due to additional impact on specific position groups, we have decided to postpone Saturday’s game. We have had multiple COVID-19 positives within our program, and we are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread and protect the greater community.”
Cal was undermanned for its game at Arizona on Saturday, with approximately 42 scholarship players in uniform after roughly two dozen tested positive during the week. The team, which has a 99% vaccination rate among players, experienced additional positive cases after the Arizona game, the school said.
“Our heart goes out to all of the people who enjoy our games in so many ways and especially the players who only get so many chances to go out and play them,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “Postponing this game was a last resort and not an action any of us wanted to take, however it was not possible for us to field a team on Saturday.”
Cal said it has contacted the Pac-12 about making up the game at a later date. If that request is granted, it likely would take place on Dec. 4 — a day after the Pac-12 title game. That would follow the precedent set when the Big Game between Cal and Stanford was postponed in 2018, due to poor air quality.
A statement from the Pac-12 was not immediately available.
Prior to the season, the Pac-12 said that “Any forfeited contest shall be regarded as a conference loss for the team making the forfeit and a conference win for its opponent.”
However, there is a rule that would allow commissioner Georgie Kliavkoff to determine whether a school is at fault for an inability to play a game.