Arizona State's game vs. Cal canceled; ASU coach Herm Edwards among those with COVID-19

Nick Bromberg
·3-min read

Cal will have to wait another week to start its 2020 football season.

The Bears’ game against Arizona State was canceled Friday because of COVID-19 positives at Arizona State. One of the people at ASU that has COVID-19 is coach Herm Edwards.

"In the past few days our test results included a number of positive cases, including multiple student-athletes and coaching staff members, one of which is head coach Herm Edwards,” athletic director Ray Anderson said in a statement. “This put our team below the Pac-12's minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes under the league's game cancellation policy. After consultation with our medical advisers and Coach Edwards, we immediately began a conversation with the Pac-12 office and California athletics director Jim Knowlton to make them aware of the situation.”

Cal’s game against Washington on Nov. 7 was canceled after the Bears had a positive COVID-19 test and a position group was forced to quarantine because of that test.

Herm Edwards says he’s ‘fine’

Edwards said in a statement that he and his family are feeling fine and encouraged people to wear masks and social distance.

"First, I want to say that Lia, the girls and I are fine, and I will be back quicker than you can say, 'Forks Up!' Second, even with the marvelous care our medical professionals have provided for myself, my staff and my team over the past few months the virus still found me,” Edwards said. “So, I encourage all of you to take this virus seriously, to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and get tested whenever possible.”

Arizona State lost to USC to open the Pac-12 season a week ago. The Sun Devils were the better team for much of the game, but USC scored 14 points in the final three minutes for the comeback win.

Edwards is the second head coach to announce he’s tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Arkansas coach Sam Pittman will miss his team’s game Saturday against Florida after he tested positive for the virus earlier in the week.

File-This Nov. 16, 2019, file photo shows Arizona State coach Herm Edwards watching from the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. In 2003, the NFL had three minority head coaches: future Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, Edwards and Marvin Lewis. In the 12 previous seasons, there had been six. Total. Considering that the majority of the players in the league 16 years ago were minorities, that imbalance was enormous. And disturbing. And, frankly, it was unfair. Paul Tagliabue, then the NFL commissioner, put together a committee that established the "Rooney Rule," which requires all teams with coaching and front office vacancies to interview minority candidates. The rule, long overdue, was named for Dan Rooney, then president of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the overseer of that committee.  (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, File)
ASU coach Herm Edwards has COVID-19. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, File)

13th game of Week 11 canceled or postponed

The cancellation is the 13th game of the weekend that won’t be played as scheduled because of COVID-19. That means 23 games over the past two weeks have been either canceled or postponed because of COVID-19.

There was uncertainty surrounding the Cal vs. ASU game during the week because of Berkely, California, city rules. The city requires 14-day quarantines for close contacts of COVID-19 positive people, and it was unclear if Cal would be able to play the game this weekend because of the mandatory quarantines.

Instead, it was COVID-19 cases at Arizona State that ended up causing the game to be canceled.

Cal’s two cancellations means that the Bears have just four games on the schedule currently ahead of a potential makeup weekend on Dec. 19. The Pac-12 was the last conference to start the 2020 football season and its six-game regular-season schedule is the shortest of any major conference.

Hours before ASU and Cal announced their cancellation, the Pac-12 apologized for a false positive test of a Stanford player. Stanford said hours before its loss to Oregon on Nov. 7 that three players — including starting QB Davis Mills — would miss the game.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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