The Pac-12 Conference Sunday granted the University of Utah’s request to change the date of its football game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl from Friday to Saturday.
The Utes’ planned season opener Saturday against Arizona was canceled Friday because they did not have the minimum number of scholarship players available because of a player testing positive for COVID-19 and resulting isolation of additional players under contact tracing protocols.
“We greatly appreciate the understanding and flexibility of UCLA, the Pac-12 and our conference television rights holders to consider the challenges we have been working through over the past several days with regard to our recent increases in positive COVID-19 cases within our football program,” said Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan.
“After two consecutive days of no positive COVID-19 test results we are encouraged that we can resume practice on Monday in preparation for this week’s game at UCLA. We continue to rigorously reinforce all health and safety protocols related to the virus throughout our department.”
The Pac-12 has established minimum thresholds to play a game. A team must have at least 53 scholarship players available to participate, including at least seven offensive linemen, one quarterback and four defensive linemen.
The UCLA-Utah game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., the same time it was to start Friday, and be televised by Fox.
“While we are encouraged by all indicators today that our football program may proceed with preparations for this week’s game, we also recognize the challenges presented by the virus and that our status could change as we continue our daily testing program,” Harlan said.
“We will continue to be guided by our medical professionals in all of our decisions and prioritize the well-being and safety of our student-athletes, as I have said from the beginning of the pandemic.”