No. 8/10 (AP/Coaches) Cincinnati’s game Saturday at Tulsa has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases within the Bearcats football program.
The American Athletic Conference announced Thursday that the game will be postponed to Dec. 5.
The game still will be played at Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
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“We are disappointed we will be unable to play Tulsa Saturday,” University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics John Cunningham said. “We knew this season was going to require a lot of patience and flexibility and disruptions were likely to happen. The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff is always our primary focus and we appreciated the outstanding work and continued dedicated of our medical staff throughout the pandemic.”
This is the first game that has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases at Cincinnati. The Bearcats have increased testing this week in an effort to contain the issue, university officials said.
UC has recorded nearly 700 positive COVID-19 cases among its student body, according to the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard.
Positive tests and subsequent contact tracing sideline student-athletes anywhere from 10-14 days. Cincinnati is scheduled to play at No. 17/18 SMU on Oct. 24 (9 p.m. EST on ESPN2). The Mustangs (4-0, 1-0 AAC) had their Sept. 11 game at TCU postponed after some TCU players and support staff tested positive for the virus.
Saturday’s matchup was supposed to be the first for Cincinnati (3-0, 1-0 AAC) this season away from Nippert Stadium. Bearcats coach Luke Fickell said Tuesday he was concerned about putting his players on an airplane and traveling across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I worry about the airplane, and is that some of the issues with teams that have traveled?” he said. “There’s some things I think internally that we’re just making sure that we’re really all on the same page on how we’re going to do things.”
Tulsa (1-1, 1-0 AAC), which hasn’t played a home game since Nov. 23, 2019, played its season-opener at Oklahoma State a week after it was originally scheduled. The Golden Hurricane requested it be rescheduled to allow more time to prepare for the season after it missed nine days of practice during fall camp due to a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak.
Tulsa’s scheduled home game against Arkansas State on Sept. 26 was postponed after Arkansas State could not assemble a two-deep depth chart at one position group that would allow the game to be played safely because of positive COVID-19 tests.