Wisconsin paused team activities on Wednesday after head coach Paul Chryst became one of 12 in the program to test positive for COVID-19.
The No. 9 Badgers will not play Saturday’s game at Nebraska and the Big Ten said the game will not be rescheduled.
“We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said. “Over the past several days we have seen a rising number of student-athletes and staff contract the virus. The responsible thing for us to do is to pause football-related activities for at least seven days.”
Under Big Ten rules for the coronavirus pandemic, all players and personnel testing positive are mandated to miss 21 days and test negative for COVID-19 before returning to the team. Two of the team’s three quarterbacks tested positive this week.
Several tests are pending, the program said in a statement. As of Wednesday morning, six players and six personnel were confirmed positive.
The state of Wisconsin is experiencing a surge in positive cases.
“We thank and appreciate our athletic trainers, doctors and public health staff who are supporting the health and safety of our student-athletes and program,” said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank.
Chryst is the second Big Ten football coach to test positive for COVID-19. Purdue’s Jeff Brohm has been quarantined following a positive test.
“This morning I received the news that I had tested positive via a PCR test I took yesterday,” Chryst said. “I informed my staff and the team this morning and am currently isolating at home. I had not been experiencing any symptoms and feel good as of this morning.
“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week. But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”
The status of Wisconsin’s next scheduled game, at home against Purdue on Nov. 7, will not be determined until next week.
–Field Level Media