Minnesota cancels Saturday game with Northwestern

Minnesota linebacker Josh Aune (29) holds the ball after he intercepted a Purdue pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 34-31. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Minnesota linebacker Josh Aune (29) holds the ball after he intercepted a Purdue pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 34-31. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Gopher football program has had 47 positive COVID cases since November 19.

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 11:49 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 4:06 PM

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Minnesota announced Monday it has called off this weekend's game against No. 16 Northwestern, the second straight cancellation for the Gophers due to a spike in COVID-19 cases within the program.

University officials made the decision in consultation with the Big Ten after seven additional positive cases were confirmed. The Wildcats, who lead the West Division by one game at 5-1, were scheduled to play Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Those Gophers who've contracted the virus have experienced “very, very mild symptoms,” according to coach P.J. Fleck.

College football is limping toward the postseason in late December as multiple programs deal with COVID-19 outbreaks and contact tracing protocols. Four games on this week’s schedule have been postponed or canceled. Over the last three weeks, 52 games have been called off because of COVID-19 issues out of 179 that were scheduled. Since late August, the total number of canceled or postponed games is 103.

Minnesota's football team has turned up 47 positive cases since Nov. 19 — 21 players and 26 staff members. The Gophers paused all team activities six days ago, when they canceled the annual rivalry game at Wisconsin. Minnesota also said it will hold all meetings virtually for the rest of the season. Left on the schedule is a game at Nebraska on Dec. 12 and a to-be-determined cross-division opponent on Dec. 19.

“There’s not a lot we can do about it. Nobody’s doing anything wrong. The virus remains undefeated,” Fleck said on his weekly radio appearance on KFAN-FM. “We are in a major city, surrounded by a lot of people.”

The university is working with the state health department to isolate and treat the individuals who’ve tested positive. Last week, Minnesota added testing beyond the conference’s established protocols.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our main priority,” athletic director Mark Coyle said. “The last couple of days have shown a decrease in positive cases, but not to the point where we are able to return to competition."

Coyle said the Gophers are aiming to play Nebraska as scheduled, and Fleck said the team is game-planning for the Huskers.

The virus has done a number on the Big Ten race, with six cancellations so far. The 18th-ranked Badgers have likely become ineligible for the conference championship because they haven't played enough games. East Division leader and third-ranked Ohio State, which had to cancel its last game against Illinois, would be in danger of that fate with one more cancellation.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The pandemic is also disrupting the early days of the college basketball season, with coaches scrambling to fill holes in the schedule. The 21st-ranked Oregon men’s basketball program announced it would play two games in Omaha, Nebraska — against Missouri on Wednesday and Seton Hall on Friday.

Oregon is yet to open its basketball season because of the COVID-19-related cancelations of multi-team events the Ducks hoped to play in as well as a game against Eastern Washington.

Ducks coach Dana Altman was the longtime coach at Creighton, in Omaha, before leaving for Oregon and he has remained close friends with athletic director Bruce Rasmussen.

Seton Hall (0-1), like Creighton, plays in the Big East. Rasmussen served as the middleman to get the Ducks and Pirates together on Creighton's home court at the CHI Health Center.

“It didn’t make a lot of sense for Oregon to go all the way to New Jersey or for Seton Hall to go all the way to Oregon,” Rasmussen said, “so we helped them get the game here.”

Oregon scheduled the impromptu game against Missouri on its own and might look for more games in Omaha after the Seton Hall game.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485230

Reported Deaths: 6554
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1006801585
Ramsey43047801
Dakota36254390
Anoka33274384
Washington22065255
Stearns18723201
St. Louis14794262
Scott13273107
Wright12517115
Olmsted1177988
Sherburne871572
Carver771040
Clay690387
Rice670091
Blue Earth593835
Kandiyohi579474
Crow Wing519681
Chisago498445
Otter Tail481870
Benton446190
Winona418049
Mower404131
Douglas392568
Nobles386847
Goodhue385568
Polk342762
McLeod339349
Beltrami337351
Morrison324247
Lyon313044
Itasca312746
Becker310941
Isanti305754
Carlton300149
Steele299711
Pine282016
Freeborn280523
Nicollet258141
Todd247830
Brown244637
Le Sueur235020
Mille Lacs227247
Cass219924
Waseca208917
Meeker207434
Martin189328
Wabasha18623
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15214
Renville149540
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134116
Wadena130920
Faribault122917
Aitkin118933
Sibley117310
Watonwan11728
Rock115714
Kanabec107419
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9438
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8025
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake73718
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68316
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Unassigned47968
Norman4768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40821
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362189

Reported Deaths: 5414
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58146549
Linn20653312
Scott18288207
Black Hawk16249291
Woodbury14961211
Johnson1383473
Dubuque13537194
Dallas1135890
Pottawattamie10765143
Story1021645
Warren555274
Clinton543284
Cerro Gordo533681
Webster518787
Marshall496272
Sioux494369
Buena Vista473236
Des Moines457661
Muscatine451191
Wapello4330108
Jasper416966
Plymouth394577
Lee375352
Marion359069
Jones294154
Henry292737
Carroll285548
Bremer280154
Crawford274735
Boone259630
Washington254147
Benton252854
Mahaska224346
Jackson221438
Dickinson217439
Tama213465
Kossuth208154
Clay193525
Hamilton192042
Delaware188839
Winneshiek188427
Buchanan185129
Fayette185035
Page183219
Hardin181039
Wright179731
Harrison179669
Cedar177923
Clayton168053
Butler166331
Mills163120
Floyd162740
Madison154518
Cherokee153935
Poweshiek153730
Hancock146829
Lyon145841
Allamakee145646
Iowa144423
Appanoose139147
Grundy139030
Jefferson138232
Winnebago138230
Cass134151
Calhoun133711
Mitchell130840
Louisa128241
Union126331
Chickasaw125213
Sac124218
Emmet121240
Shelby121033
Franklin118419
Humboldt117425
Guthrie116528
Palo Alto104921
Montgomery103936
Howard103121
Clarke100520
Unassigned9890
Keokuk98129
Monroe93128
Adair91928
Ida91032
Pocahontas85519
Davis82623
Monona81627
Greene77310
Lucas73821
Osceola70514
Worth6987
Taylor66412
Fremont5919
Decatur5789
Van Buren55918
Ringgold52020
Wayne48821
Audubon4869
Adams3264
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