Just more than eight hours after Cal’s Week 7 matchup with Arizona was scheduled, it was canceled due to each team’s inability to field enough scholarship student-athletes, according to a statement from the Pac-12.
The Bears and Wildcats were scheduled to meet in the conference’s slate of season-ending games, which includes the Pac-12 championship and was released Sunday around 9:30 a.m. By 6 p.m., however, officials from the Pac-12, Cal and Arizona agreed that such an event would not be possible, effectively ending the Bears’ season.
The blue and gold had their previous game, a tussle with Washington State in Pullman, canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test, contact tracing and quarantining complications. With their home opener against Washington also canceled for similar reasons, Sunday’s news marks the third game of the Bears’ season to get called off due to COVID-19. In addition to these games, Cal saw its Week 2 road trip to Arizona State rescheduled to a contest against UCLA at the Rose Bowl when the Sun Devils faced COVID-19 complications within their program.
“We are disappointed that we are not able to host Arizona, but I am proud of our team and what we have been able to accomplish under difficult and unprecedented circumstances,” said Cal head coach Justin Wilcox in a statement after the announcement. “Providing a safe environment has been at the top of our priority list throughout the season, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped us put together a plan to practice and play within health guidelines.”
Wilcox also recognized the graduating seniors for their “hard work, dedication and leadership.”
While Cal’s 1-3 finish to the 2020 season is below the expectations of many, there are undoubtedly positives to take away from this season, including an upset win over then-No. 23 Oregon. The Bears will look to the future when the early signing period opens Wednesday.
“We have a bright future ahead of us, and we are looking forward to preparing for 2021,” Wilcox said.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) December 14, 2020
Jasper Kenzo Sundeen covers football. Contact him at [email protected].