Gophers pause team activities, cancel game against Wisconsin

Minnesota won’t face Wisconsin for the first time since 1906 amid a rise in positive COVID-19 cases within the program.

Gophers+running+back+Mohamed+Ibrahim+carries+the+ball+at+TCF+Bank+Stadium+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+13.+The+Gophers+fell+to+the+University+of+Iowa+Hawkeyes+35-7.

Emily Urfer

Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim carries the ball at TCF Bank Stadium on Friday, Nov. 13. The Gophers fell to the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 35-7.

Nolan O'Hara, Sports Reporter

The Gophers’ football team has paused all team activities and canceled its game against Wisconsin on Saturday amid a case rise in the program, according to the University’s athletics department.

On Monday, the department announced the team would only be holding meetings virtually as a result of positive COVID-19 test results. Nine student-athletes and six staff members tested positive in the last five days.

The Gophers were missing 20 players to either injury or a positive test result on Friday against Purdue.

Saturday’s game against Wisconsin will not be rescheduled per Big Ten policy and will be ruled a no contest. The Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry is the most played in collegiate football and this will mark the first time the Gophers haven’t faced the Badgers since 1906.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes will always come first,” head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. “I am disappointed for our student-athletes and our fans that we will not be able to compete on Saturday, but we need to focus on the health of our student-athletes and staff, which means stopping the spread of the virus.”