Statements on the Cancellation of Utah's Game Versus Arizona
The University of Utah Athletics Department announced that Utah's football game scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7 against Arizona has been canceled.
The announcement was made Friday, followed by statements Friday afternoon from Director of Athletics Mark Harlan and Head Football Coach Kyle Whittingham, posted below.
STATEMENT FROM UTAH DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS MARK HARLAN
"The cancellation of our football game is a very difficult outcome to accept, but it is absolutely the right decision under the circumstances. While I am heartbroken for our student-athletes and everybody associated with Utah Athletics, as well as our great fans, our number one guiding principle is the health and safety of our student-athletes. This also has a significant impact on the University of Arizona football program and we extend our appreciation for their understanding of our situation.
"This morning our test results included a number of positive cases, which put our team below the Pac-12's minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes under the league's game cancellation policy. Coach Whittingham and I discussed this situation extensively, as well as with our medical advisors, and it was extremely clear that to go forward with the game would put our student-athletes at risk, and we simply will not take that risk. We immediately began a conversation with the Pac-12 office and Arizona Athletics Director Dave Heeke to make them aware of our situation and the resulting decision.
"We are continuing to take every precaution to safeguard the health and welfare of our student-athletes and staff, in accordance with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee's procedures. Those with positive test results and those in contact tracing protocols are in isolation and receiving the appropriate care.
"We will continue to monitor our testing results and stay in close communication with our University, local public health officials and the Pac-12 Conference."
STATEMENT FROM HEAD FOOTBALL COACH KYLE WHITTINGHAM
"As difficult as this is, there is no question it is the right decision to make. Our student-athletes' health and well-being is absolutely paramount and we will not put them at risk. Our team has worked extremely hard to get to this point, and we will continue to care for our students-athletes and follow all protocols very thoroughly as we prepare for next week's game."
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) November 6, 2020