Saturday's USC football game against Colorado at the Coliseum was canceled today because USC did not have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game at a specific position group as a result of a number of positive COVID-19 cases, and the resulting isolation of additional players under contact tracing protocols.
After being cleared to resume practice Wednesday, USC announced Thursday it would conduct its activities virtually as a precautionary measure because a player was being tested due to symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection.
The Pac-12 Conference has established minimum thresholds to play. A team must have at least 53 scholarship players available, including at least seven offensive linemen, one quarterback and four defensive linemen.
Under conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest. USC is 3-0 and Colorado 2-0, both overall and in conference play.
On Tuesday, USC announced that one player had tested positive. The university announced on Wednesday that a second player has tested positive for COVID-19 and five others were quarantined after being identified through the contact tracing process.
Coach Clay Helton told reporters Thursday,
"There are starters involved" among the two players who tested positive and five quarantined, none of whom have been publicly identified because of privacy laws."
"We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado
that Saturday's game will not be played, but the health and safety of
everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority,'' Helton said in a
statement Thursday night. "Our players have worked hard since the summer not only to prepare for this season, but to do so in a safe manner by following all health protocols. I applaud their discipline and sacrifice in doing so. We will continue to test and monitor our players, coaches and staff and take guidance from health officials as we prepare for our remaining games.
The Trojans' next scheduled game is Friday, Dec. 4 at home against Washington State