Thursday, February 2, 2023

Michigan State football at Maryland canceled due to COVID-19

November 19, 2020
Spartan pets support the team from the south end of the stadium during a football game against Indiana University at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 14, 2020.
Spartan pets support the team from the south end of the stadium during a football game against Indiana University at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 14, 2020. —
Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

After Maryland and No. 3 ranked Ohio State's matchup was canceled Nov. 11, things got a little murky with the Michigan State-Maryland matchup this weekend.

The Terrapins still haven't practiced as of Wednesday afternoon, a Maryland spokesperson confirmed reports that a decision would come Thursday.

Today, the decision became official that the game wouldn't be played. Maryland Athletics confirmed in a release Thursday morning that the game would be canceled due to COVID-19 and will not be rescheduled.

“I am gutted for our team and for our fans,” Maryland head coach Mike Locksley said in a release. “This team is eager to play and compete and continue the growth we’ve seen this season. This virus is testing our players and coaches right now, but I have no doubt that we will emerge as a stronger unit for having gone through this together. As for me personally, I am feeling strong, with only minor symptoms. I will continue to lead this program virtually and our game preparations for Indiana will begin immediately.”

According to the release, Locksley tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and is isolating at home.

Over the past seven days, 15 Maryland student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a Big Ten test positivity rate of 2.8%. There were seven positive cases among staff over that same time period, resulting in a population positivity rate of 14.9%. All positive individuals are now in designated isolation spaces, per health protocols, a release from Maryland stated.

In what could be called a COVID cancellation of the OSU-Maryland game after the Terrapins reported eight positive cases, the same thing has happened with MSU and their planned matchup with Maryland on Nov. 21.

Spartans head coach Mel Tucker said during his weekly press conference Tuesday that he believed the game would be played. Wednesday, a Maryland spokesperson confirmed that practice again had been canceled.

“We’re expecting to play them,” Tucker said. “I don’t know what they’re situation is and why they’re playing or why they’re not playing, but we’re going to be prepared to play. As long as we can meet the thresholds in terms of players available and COVID numbers that are set forth with the Big Ten. As long as we can stay within those numbers and fill a team, we’re going to play. We’re going to prepare to play until we're told differently. We need football.”

Per a report from the Washington Post's Emily Giambalvo, Maryland's team had been staying in a hotel following the positive tests from Wednesday, Nov. 11 when the practice was put on hold until Sunday, Nov. 15.

The Terrapins football program has been unable to return to practice this week.

MSU is 1-3 on the year coming off a 24-0 shutout loss to Indiana at home. The Terrapins haven't played since Nov. 7, when they defeated Penn State, 35-19 in Happy Valley.

Less than a week after almost a third of NCAA Div. 1 College Football games were being postponed across the country due to the pandemic, the COVID-19 spread has finally landed in the path of MSU.

Thursday's announcement comes on the heels of news that three more players officially opted out of the 2020-21 season and that two more players: Linebacker Marcel Lewis and running back Anthony Williams Jr. would be entering the transfer portal.

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