Nebraska football’s home opener against No. 9 Wisconsin has been canceled due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Badgers program, announced by the team Wednesday morning.
According to the release, Wisconsin will be pausing all team activities for seven days. As of this morning, six players and six staff members within the team have tested positive, including head coach Paul Chryst. Additional test results are also pending.
"We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff members comes first," Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in the release. "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."
Throughout the week, it had been reported that two Wisconsin quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Graham Mertz and sophomore Chase Wolf, had tested positive for the coronavirus. On Monday, Chryst said that he was “confident” that the game would be played.
In the release, and in accordance with what the Big Ten has previously stated, it was said that the game will not be rescheduled. The conference’s schedule features nine games in nine weeks, meaning there are no open weeks for any team.
This marks the second time Nebraska’s home opener has been canceled in the last three years. In 2018, head coach Scott Frost’s Nebraska coaching debut against Akron was canceled due to lightning.