SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah's second attempt at starting its football season has been called off.
Saturday's Utes game at UCLA has been canceled due to COVID-19 cases and exposures among Utah players. The Utes do not have enough scholarship players available to play under the Pac-12's football game cancellation policy.
Utah currently has 17 confirmed cases among players, coaches and staff, while an additional 11 members of the team are in quarantine due to contract tracing protocols.
"We went into this week knowing it was a day-to-day situation," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "We have been doing everything we can under the circumstances to prepare for the game and follow all guidelines and protocols. As is always the case, the health and safety of our student-athletes come first."
The game will be declared a no contest and will not be rescheduled.
"Our community is especially hard-hit right now by this virus, and our team and our department have been doing everything possible to follow protocols and avoid the spread of the virus," said Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan. "We were doing very well, day-by-day, and it is extremely difficult for our student-athletes and coaches that they will not be able to compete again this week. We also acknowledge the disappointment for our fans, and we know how upsetting it is for UCLA's football program."
Utah's season opener last week against Arizona was also called off for reasons connected to COVID-19 cases on the team.
"The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans. At the same time it is further indication that our health and safety protocols are working in identifying positive cases and contact tracing issues." the Pac-12 Conference said in a statement.
Since this week's Arizona State-California game was also canceled, the Pac-12 announced UCLA and California will now play each other Sunday. Four SEC games, along with the Ohio State-Maryland BIG 10 game, have also been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus.