ucla-football-avoids-cancellation-with-colorado-despite-positive-coronavirus-test

  • UCLA running back Demetric Felton, front center, is stopped by, from left to right, Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, linebacker Akil Jones, defensive end Mustafa Johnson and cornerback Chris Miller in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer, right, throws a pass under pressure from UCLA defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, left, looks to throw the ball under pressure froim Colorado cornerback Chris Miller in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, left, celebrates his interception of a pass with defensive tackle Lloyd Murray Jr. in the first half of an NCAA college football game against UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado linebacker Carson Wells, center, inercept a pass thrown by UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, right, for wide receiver Kyle Philips, left, in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA running back Demetric Felton, front, is tackled by Colorado linebacker Akil Jones after catching a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson looks to pass the ball against Colorado in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA linebacker Bo Calvert, left, looks to tackle Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer after a short gain in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard reacts after rushing for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado special teams player Derrion Rakestraw, left, forces UCLA punt-returner Kyle Philips to fumble a punt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado safety Isaiah Lewis, front right, hits UCLA running back Demetric Felton who loses control of the ball for an incomplete pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA defensive back Grady Liddell (20) leads teammates onto the gridiron to face Colorado in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell, center, leads his players onto the gridiron to host UCLA in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA defensive back Quentin Lake, left, stops Colorado wide receiver Dimitri Stanley after he caught a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard, front center, rolls into the end zone for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, left, looks to pass the ball as Colorado defensive end Mustafa Johnson, center, fights for position with UCLA offensive lineman Paul Grattan, right, in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • A guard holds up signs for rules to follow for fans to deal with the coronavirus in the first half of an NCAA college football game as Colorado hosts UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Colorado running back Jarek Broussard reacts after rushing for a touchdown against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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With two games in the Pac-12 cancelled this weekend due to the coronavirus, the UCLA football team was able to play its season-opening Pac-12 opener on the road Saturday against Colorado despite learning on Friday that three people within UCLA’s athletic department tested positive for the coronavirus, including at least one football player, according to several published reports.

It was not known whether the player that tested positive traveled with the team when it left for Colorado on Friday, and UCLA did not release the name of the players. As per conference policy, players from both teams were tested again Saturday prior to the game, and there were no announcement of positive tests, allowing the game to go on.

As the news broke of the three positive cases within UCLA’s athletic department on Friday, the school released a statement.

“As we begin the seven-game football season, UCLA Athletics will continue our established practice of weekly reporting of positive COVID-19 PCR and Antigen test results among student-athletes, coaches and staff, by program,” the UCLA athletic department statement read.  “Given the unique circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to best protect the privacy of our individual student-athletes, coaches and staff during this season, UCLA Athletics and UCLA Football will not specify the reason for any absence from a football game, game action or practice, without express consent from the individual(s).

“Those who are sidelined or absent, whether due to medical circumstances or any other reason, will be deemed “unavailable.” Further details will not be disclosed without individual consent.”

Throughout its monthlong camp in preparation for Saturday’s game, UCLA’s players remained coronavirus-free, despite one false positive scare. The Bruins have stayed in one dormitory building since camp, and have had little interaction with anyone outside of that bubble.

UCLA football coach Chip Kelly and his wife tested positive in late March. Eight players tested positive upon their return to campus beginning in late June.

BRUINS HOME OPENER IN JEOPARDY?

The Bruins are scheduled to host Utah at the Rose Bowl in their home opener on Friday night, but Utah had its game cancelled on Saturday due to positive coronavirus tests, putting that game in jeopardy.

The Pac-12 approved Utah’s request to cancel Saturday’s game against Arizona in Salt Lake City as a result of positive tests, but the Pac-12 nor Utah indicated how many positive tests there were.

The decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Utah not having the minimum number of scholarship players available, according to the conference’s statement. The game was declared a no contest.

Ten games this week were either cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, including the Pac-12 game between Cal and Washington due to a Cal player testing positive for the coronavirus, resulting in several teammates being put in quarantine.  A total of 47 games have been cancelled or postponed since Aug. 26.

BRUINS PROMOTE SOCIAL JUSTICE ON JERSEYS

More than half of the Bruins players on Saturday wore one-word messages that bring aware to social justice, which was approved by the UCLA athletic department and has the wishes of Kelly.

Players had to choose one of five message from the following: Justice, Love, Peace, Equality and Unity.

Kelly explained why it was important.

“Our squad leaders came to me with a great idea for social justice, and they wanted to use the name plates on the back of their jerseys and pick five words that they could do that they want this country to represent,” Kelly said in a video statement. “I fully support them in terms of where they’re and using their voice and their platform.”

 

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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