One day after the Washington Huskies paused football activities due to positive COVID-19 cases affecting the program, their upcoming game versus the Oregon Ducks scheduled for Saturday was canceled by the Pac-12.
The conference said in a statement shared by Washington:
"After consultation with Washington, the Pac-12 Conference announced the game involving Washington at Oregon scheduled for Saturday, December 12 has been canceled. This decision was made under the Pac-12's football game cancellation policy due to Washington not having the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes available for the game due to a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols."
The game won't be rescheduled and will be ruled a no contest.
The Huskies finish the campaign at 3-1 and atop the Pac-12 North standings. As ESPN's Kyle Bonagura explained, it's unknown if Washington will be able to field a team for the conference championship game on Dec. 18 or what would happen if the Huskies are ineligible for that contest. While Oregon is 3-2 and second in the North, the USC Trojans of the Pac-12 South hold a perfect 4-0 conference mark, followed by the Colorado Buffaloes (3-0 in the conference, 4-0 overall).
USC plays against the rival UCLA Bruins on Saturday, while Colorado will host the Utah Utes that same day.
Earlier this week, Big Ten athletic directors amended a rule that mandated a team must finish at least six games to play in the conference title game. This created a championship matchup between the No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes and Northwestern Wildcats set for Dec. 19.
Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in the prepared statement:
"I'm so disappointed for everyone involved here. Every year our student-athletes, coaches, staff and Husky Nation circle this game on our calendar and so look forward to this amazing rivalry. The student-athletes from both schools have worked so hard, and I'm just really disheartened we are (at) this point where we are unable to play due to our COVID-19 positives within the program, but we will always put the health and well-being of our students, coaches and staff as our greatest priority when making decisions. We will continue to work in collaboration with our medical professionals as they advise us on how to best move forward."
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens also offered a statement: