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Washington halts football activities due to COVID-19; Indiana-Purdue canceled

Washington halts football activities due to COVID-19; Indiana-Purdue canceled
The Oregon-Washington football game, scheduled for Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., is now in doubt after a series of positive COVID-19 cases within the Washington football program. Photo by Kingofthedead/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The University of Washington has paused football team activities due to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases within the program, the school said Wednesday.

"The team will not practice Wednesday and will undergo additional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing," the Huskies said in a statement.

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The Huskies are scheduled to play Oregon at 4 p.m. EST Saturday in Eugene, Ore. The winner of the game will decide which team wins the Pac-12's North Division and appears in the Dec. 18 conference championship game.

Washington said more information regarding the status of the scheduled game against Oregon will be shared "when it becomes available."

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Wednesday's stoppage marks the first time this season that Washington has had to pause team activities. The Huskies' games against California and Washington State were canceled earlier this year due to COVID-19 cases within those programs.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers have mutually agreed to call off their rivalry game scheduled for Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., because of a rise in COVID-19 cases at the schools.

In a joint statement, Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson and Purdue AD Mike Bobinski expressed their displeasure in having to cancel the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry matchup.

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"We both understand the history and tradition of one of the best rivalries in college football, but the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our primary priority," the statement said. "We will continue to monitor the situation on both campuses and listen to the advice of our medical professionals."

In other developments, Charlotte announced Wednesday that its football game against Marshall -- scheduled for Friday -- has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Thundering Herd program.

The American Athletic Conference said Tuesday that Saturday's Tulsa-Cincinnati football game will not be played due to COVID-19 cases and contact tracing within the Bearcats program. The conference said Cincinnati and Tulsa remain on track to face off in the AAC Championship Game on Dec. 19.

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Also Tuesday, Michigan canceled its annual rivalry matchup against Ohio State due to positive COVID-19 cases within its program.

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