USC vs. Cal Postponed Because of COVID-19 Issues in Golden Bears Program

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 9, 2021

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 06: A view a Cal football sign during a game between the UCLA Bruins and the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Berkeley, California. The Golden Bears defeated the Bruins 43-17. (Photo by Bryan Tan/Replay Photos via Getty Images)
Bryan Tan/Replay Photos via Getty Images

This year's USC at Cal football game, which was scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Berkeley's California Memorial Stadium, has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Golden Bears program. 

Cal Athletics @CalAthletics

Game Update for Cal Football vs USC this Saturday. <br><br>full release: <a href="https://t.co/xtbBSpE4WI">https://t.co/xtbBSpE4WI</a> <a href="https://t.co/qwvjse8iRY">pic.twitter.com/qwvjse8iRY</a>

Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group first reported the news. 

As noted by ESPN's Kyle Bonagura, who confirmed the news, more than two dozen players tested positive for COVID-19 last week and did not travel with the team to face Arizona on Saturday. That matchup resulted in a 10-3 loss for the Bears, who had just 42 scholarship players on hand.

Cal then had more positive test results on its team, which has a 99 percent vaccination rate among players, per Bonagura. Those additional results led to the postponement.

The game will now be played Dec. 4. 

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

The Pac-12 football game scheduled between Cal and USC for this Saturday has now been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4, per USC.

The USC-Cal game is the first FBS contest this year to be postponed because of COVID-19 concerns, according to Wilner.

Cal quarterback Chase Garbers, who was one of the players who did not attend the Arizona game, expressed his frustrations with the University Health Services on Monday:

Chase Garbers @ChaseGarbers

We players are frustrated with our University Health Services(UHS) ⬇️⬇️⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/U1GDfOJjg6">pic.twitter.com/U1GDfOJjg6</a>

Bonagura gave a rundown of what happened last week leading into the Arizona game:

"After a couple positive tests early in the week, the city of Berkeley required the entire team to be tested on Wednesday—including asymptomatic vaccinated individuals— which revealed the outbreak, the source said. It's unclear when the players and coaches who tested positive will be allowed to return to the team."

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox offered comments after the Arizona game.

"This is a city of Berkeley [process] and the [UC Berkeley administration are] the ones that relay the information to me," Wilcox said. "I'll be looking forward to sharing more at a later time. I don't think this moment is the time to discuss that."

In addition, as Kylen Mills of KRON4 News reported, "players are upset they're forced to sit 10 days regardless of vax status or subsequent negative tests."