| The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State’s game scheduled for Saturday against Illinois has been canceled, the school announced Friday night.
No. 3-ranked Ohio State canceled the game after further positive tests for COVID-19 were discovered after a round of PCR testing Friday afternoon.
The school announced earlier that coach Ryan Day had tested positive.
The athletic department has paused all team-related football activities. The decision to cancel the game and pause all activities was made by athletic director Gene Smith, OSU president Kristina M. Johnson and head team physician Jim Borchers 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.”
Team activities will resume when the medical staff determines it is safe to do so based on protocols established by the Big Ten Conference, Ohio State said.
Without playing this weekend, the Buckeyes are in jeopardy of becoming ineligible for the conference championship game in Indianapolis next month.
Teams must play a minimum of six games to reach the title game, leaving the Buckeyes (4-0) with no margin for error over the next two weeks. If either of their remaining games, against Michigan State or Michigan, is impacted, they could fall below the threshold requirement.
Ohio State is currently on pace to play six regular-season games in this pandemic-altered season, which began in late October.
Due to the Big Ten’s delayed start to the season, the schedule did not leave any idle weeks for teams to reschedule games, setting up eight games for teams in a span of eight weeks, followed by a final weekend on Dec. 19 that includes the conference title game and several crossover games between the divisions.
The game against Illinois is declared a no contest by the Big Ten.