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Saturday, June 15, 2024
Coach Chryst is one of the twelve members of Wisconsin football to test positive for COVID-19

Coach Chryst is one of the twelve members of Wisconsin football to test positive for COVID-19

Badger football pauses team activities, cancels game due to COVID-19 outbreak within team

The Wisconsin Badgers football team announced Wednesday morning that they have paused team activities and as a result Saturday’s contest between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers will be cancelled as a result of multiple cases of COVID-19 on the Badgers’ football team. 

The decision to pause team activities was made by Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez. As of Wednesday morning, 12 members of the Badger football team had tested positive; six players and six staff members. Head Coach Paul Chryst has one of the positive cases.

“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.”

Speculation of a cancellation began shortly after the Badgers crushed Illinois on Oct. 23, when Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Mertz had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. A second positive test was reported by CBS’s Dennis Dodd on Tuesday, sidelining Mertz for 21 days according to Big Ten protocols. Potrykus also reported that backup quarterback Chase Wolf, who was next on the depth chart after Mertz, also tested positive. 

College football programs do not reveal the names of players infected with COVID-19, so it is unknown what other Wisconsin football players or personnel have been infected. However, Big Ten protocols say that a team positivity rate of greater than five percent and a population positivity rate of greater than 7.5% will lead to a pause in competition until the team can reach acceptable levels again. 

This is not the first college football game to be cancelled this season. The University of Florida has only played three games up to this point while other teams in the SEC have played five due to COVID-related cancellations. As of Oct. 16, 34 college football games had been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19.  

If Wisconsin athletics can get the positivity rate down and adhere to the Big Ten protocols, the Badgers will be back in action next Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers. 

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