The University of Wisconsin football team has paused all team-related activities for at least a week, including cancelling Saturday’s game with Nebraska after multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
At least six players and six more staff have returned positive tests, including Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst. The Nebraska game will also not rescheduled.
“We have said from the beginning that the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff members come first,” athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “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.”
“I am disappointed for our players and coaching staff who put so much into preparing to play each week,” Chryst added. “But the safety of everyone in our program has to be our top priority and I support the decision made to pause our team activities.”
The news came after Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz got a second positive COVID-19 test forcing him to sit out for 21 days, as per Big Ten protocols.
Third-string quarterback Chase Wolf also tested positive. They are eligible to return to the team Nov. 14.
Wisconsin’s next game is scheduled for Nov. 7 against Purdue.