PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University's Saturday night football game against Stanford has been canceled, the Pac-12 announced Friday afternoon.
The conference said Saturday night’s game has been called off because the Cougars don’t have enough scholarship players available because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing.
This is the first game both schools have had canceled this season because of the coronavirus.
"The Pac-12 has, after consultation with Washington State University, canceled the Washington State at Stanford football game scheduled for November 21. This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Washington State not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols. Under Conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest.
"The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans. While all of us want to see our football student-athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 football programs."
An earlier report said Washington State starting quarterback Jayden de Laura has tested positive for COVID-19. The Spokesman-Review said de Laura might also miss the Nov. 27 game against Washington if he is placed in a 14-day quarantine.
WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun said he was saddened by the news.
“Based on a number of factors, our team has fallen below the Pac-12’s minimum threshold of 53 available scholarship student-athletes to play a game. We are saddened for not only our student-athletes, coaches and staff, but those within the Stanford program, who have worked so hard preparing for this weekend. We have been in communication with the Pac-12 Conference and Stanford Director of Athletics Bernard Muir throughout the week, hoping to be able to play the game as scheduled," Chun said. “We have built health and safety protocols in consultation with campus, Pac-12 Conference, NCAA, local, state and federal guidelines, and continue to follow them, ensuring that the safety of all Pac-12 student-athletes, coaches and staff continues to be our top priority.
“I’m disappointed for our team and our players. They have battled through so much this year," said WSU Head Coach Nick Rolovich. "We had a good week of practice and were excited to play this game. I recognize the pain they feel with this lost opportunity but this 2020 football team is a resilient group of young men.”
Redshirt sophomore Cammon Cooper and redshirt freshman Gunner Cruz are listed as backups to de Laura on the team’s depth chart. Neither has ever taken a snap in a game for the Cougars (1-1).
De Laura, a freshman from Honolulu, has played well in his first two games as the team’s starting quarterback, throwing for four touchdowns and one interception and rushing for another touchdown. He is the first true freshman to start a season opener in program history.