UF Football on Pause as COVID-19 Struggles Hit SEC

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The Southeastern Conference won’t play a full schedule this weekend for the first time since starting the delayed college football season on Sept. 16.

Complications with COVID-19 have caused Saturday’s Missouri versus Vanderbilt game to be postponed, while Florida has paused team activities due to 19 positive tests within the program.

Missouri announced Monday that its Homecoming game against Vanderbilt “has been postponed due to positive tests and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the Vanderbilt football program, consistent with Southeastern Conference COVID-19 management requirements. The game is tentatively rescheduled for December 12.”

Vanderbilt’s press release said the Commodores don’t have enough players to meet the minimum of 53 scholarship players the SEC requires for competition.

“While we share in the disappointment that this Saturday’s game will be postponed, our program is deeply appreciative of the tireless efforts put forth by student-athletes, university officials, conference administrators and medical experts who have risen to the challenge of helping us navigate these unprecedented circumstances,” Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said. “The safety and well-being of our student-athletes will remain a top priority as we continue the season, and we look forward to returning to competition.”

According to CBS Sports, the Missouri game is the 28th college football game to be postponed or canceled since Sept. 5. There could be another added to the list if Florida isn’t able to recover from its COVID-19 outbreak.

“The University of Florida football team has experienced an increase in positive COVID tests among players this week. Out of an abundance of caution, team activities are paused as of Tuesday afternoon,” Florida director of athletics Scott Stricklin said in Tuesday’s statement. “Head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with football players and their parents, and I have had conversations with the Southeastern Conference office, last week's opponent Texas A&M, and this week's opponent LSU. These circumstances will be re-evaluated by UF Health and the athletic department's sports medicine staff Wednesday.”

Related content: Florida Allowing Full Stadiums; Dolphins Will Keep Cap

The Independent Florida Alligator was the first to report Tuesday that there are 19 coronavirus cases within the Florida football program. The outbreak came just days after Florida head coach Dan Mullen said he wanted 90,000 fans in the stadium for the LSU game.

Related content: Florida Coach Mullen Wants Stadium Packed on Saturday

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said his team hasn’t had any positive cases since beating Florida on Saturday.

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