The Oregon Ducks have replaced the Washington Huskies in the 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game, the conference announced on Monday.
The Washington Huskies cannot play in the Pac-12 Championship Game due to the Huskies “…neither having the minimum 53 scholarship student-athletes available for the game nor the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes at a position group, in each case 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.”
“I am crushed for our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have worked tirelessly to find a healthy way to compete this season,” Washington Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said. “Husky student-athletes come to Washington to compete for championships, so this one really hurts for everyone involved — our students, our coaches and our community of loyal Husky fans and alumni. Our football program has battled through adversity all year during these challenging times, and I am so disappointed they won’t have the opportunity to play and represent the University of Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday night. The health and well-being of our students has been, and will always be, our top priority. As we have done since the start of the pandemic, we have followed the guidance and direction from our medical professionals in making this decision. With our inability to practice, and the significant impact on a key position group, there is no medical path forward to play this week. Our focus is on working with our medical team to get our team healthy again so our student-athletes can return to practice and to post-season competition.”
Under Pac-12 policy, the team with the next best record in the division goes to the championship game. Oregon finished second in the Pac-12 North Division with a 3-2 record, one game behind Washington (3-1).
Oregon was previously scheduled to play the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday, Dec. 19 in Los Angeles. That game has now been canceled since the Ducks will now play USC in the championship game.
The USC Trojans won the Pac-12 South Division by finishing undefeated at 5-0. The Trojans finished ahead of Colorado (3-1), who played one less game than the Trojans due to cancellations.
The 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18 at USC’s Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The game will be televised by FOX at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT.