COLUMBUS, Ohio — Saturday's Big Ten college football matchup between Ohio State and Illinois has been canceled due to additional positive COVID-19 cases within the Buckeyes program.
Here is the full statement from Ohio State that was released on Friday evening:
The football game between No. 3 Ohio State University and the University of Illinois, scheduled for this Saturday at 12 noon (EST) in Champaign, Ill., has been cancelled by Ohio State University after further positive tests for the coronavirus were discovered after a round of PCR testing this afternoon.
The Department of Athletics has paused all team-related football activities. The decision to cancel and pause was made jointly by Director of Athletics Gene Smith, University President Kristina M. Johnson, head team physician Dr. Jim Borchers and in consultation with the Big Ten Conference.
“We have continued to experience an increase in positive tests over the course of this week,” Smith said. “The health, safety and well-being of our student-athlete is our main concern, and our decisions on their welfare will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”
The program will resume its team activities when its medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on protocols established by the Big Ten Conference.
The news of the game's cancellation comes just hours after the announcement that Ohio State head coach Ryan Day had tested positive for the coronavirus and would not be on the sidelines for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
Ohio State has not said who else tested positive.
Out of an abundance of caution, all Ohio State players, along with Tier I coaches and support staff underwent additional PCR testing on Friday afternoon.
Earlier this week, there were reports that multiple Buckeyes players have tested positive for the coronavirus. While it didn't specify players, Ohio State confirmed "an increased number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus."
The Big Ten Conference has a policy that if the positivity rate rises above 5% or the population positivity rate is above 7.5%, team activities would have to be paused for seven days.
Earlier on Friday, Ohio State said the football program has had a positivity rate near 0% since Aug. 11.
The program has not released its current positivity rate.