USC-Cal football game postponed due to COVID-19 cases among Golden Bears

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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.”

The schools later agreed, and received Pac-12 approval, to reschedule the game for Dec. 4 — a day after the conference title game. That follows the precedent set when the Big Game between Cal and Stanford was postponed in 2018, due to poor air quality.

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.”

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