Arizona-Cal season finale canceled due to COVID-19 issues

By Reuters
Nov 17, 2018; Pullman, WA, USA; Arizona Wildcats helmet sits during football game against the Washington State Cougars in the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s game between Arizona and host California has been canceled because neither team has enough scholarship players available due to COVID-19 issues, the Pac-12 announced Sunday night.

The Pac-12 said the game will be declared a no-contest.

“The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “While all of us want to see our football student-athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 football programs.”

Arizona finishes the season 0-5 and has lost 12 consecutive games. The school fired coach Kevin Sumlin on Saturday one day after a horrific 70-7 loss to Arizona State.

“I fully support the mutual cancellation of our game with Cal after consultations with the Pac-12 Conference, university leadership, and California Athletics,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “While canceled competitions have become an unfortunate reality this season, we must remain focused on the health and safety of our student-athletes as our top priority.

“With the official conclusion of our football season, we will continue with our national search for the next head football coach at the University of Arizona.”

The Golden Bears finish 1-3. Cal had four games canceled this season due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Our heart goes out to all the student-athletes who put in so much preparation and time to play the game they love,” Golden Bears coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “We are disappointed that we are not able to host Arizona, but I am proud of our team and what we have been able to accomplish under difficult and unprecedented circumstances this season.

“Providing a safe environment has been at the top of our priority list throughout the season, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped us put together a plan to practice and play within health guidelines.”

–Field Level Media