Ann Arbor, MI — December 16, 2020
The troubles in the Michigan Wolverines football program continue. The COVID-19 outbreak among members of the team has caused Michigan to cancel their third straight contest at the end of the season. After opting out of a home game against Maryland on December 5th, they were forced to miss the annual cross-state rivalry game with Ohio State last weekend.
Athletic Department Statement
The athletic department announced they would not make the trip to Iowa on Saturday for the season-ending Champions Week contest with the Hawkeyes.
“In accordance with the Big Ten COVID-19 medical policies and health guidelines, we are without a significant number of players for this week’s game,” said Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “Couple that with the normal attrition due to injury, and we do not have enough available players at multiple position groups to field a team at Iowa. We have more student-athletes out this week compared to last week and the week prior.
“The number of positive tests over the past three weeks, which require a 21-day unavailability period, and the contact tracing requirements associated with those numbers has pushed our current list of unavailable student-athletes to over 50. This is a very unfortunate situation, and we are disappointed that our program will not be able to finish the season against the Hawkeyes.”
College Football Signing Day
The news could not have come at a worse time for the Wolverines. Today is the opening of the early signing period where recruits can ink their names to national letters of intent. Combine that with the uncertainty surrounding the status of head coach Jim Harbaugh and it remains to been seen how Michigan fares under the national recruiting spotlight.
In almost every way, 2020 has been a disappointment for the football team that was expected to contend for the Big Ten Championship.