Cincinnati Bearcats-Tulsa Golden Hurricane rescheduled football game canceled due to coronavirus

The regular-season finale between Cincinnati and Tulsa was canceled amid ongoing coronavirus issues with the Bearcats’ football program, the American Athletic Conference announced Tuesday.

The two teams are still scheduled to meet in the American conference championship game Dec. 19.

This is the second time the Tulsa-Cincinnati regular-season game was scheduled to be played this season. The originally scheduled game was planned for Oct. 17 but postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases at Cincinnati. The makeup date was slated for this Saturday.

Cincinnati, the highest-ranked Group of 5 team in the latest College Football Playoff standings at No. 7, has not played since beating UCF on Nov. 21.

“Like so much of our country, the Bearcats football program has dealt with rising cases of COVID-19 over the last several weeks,” Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham said in a statement. “Since returning from Orlando on Nov. 21, 2020, we had an increased number of positives among our student-athletes, coaches and staff. Thankfully, we have had very few symptomatic cases and those who did show symptoms appear to be doing well.

“This week, we began a slow, measured return to activities, fully aware of the importance of monitoring our student-athletes who are returning after time away from practice. If we are selected to host the AAC Championship game on Dec. 19, we have requested a variance with the state of Ohio to allow a limited number of fans in the stadium. We look forward to continuing our season on Saturday, Dec. 19.”

Tulsa had eight game dates affected by COVID-19 this season. In addition to Cincinnati (two game dates), the Oklahoma State, Arkansas State, Navy and Houston games were postponed or canceled. The OSU and Navy games were played on later dates, and the regular-season matchups against Arkansas State, Houston and Cincinnati were not played. The Toledo and Northwestern State games were canceled prior to the season.

“It’s disappointing for our football team and fans that we will not have the opportunity to play the final home game of the season on Senior Day,” Tulsa director of athletics Rick Dickson said in a statement.

“The hard work and dedication and the adversity our student-athletes have battled through this year is evident of their character and their desire to continue to play football. They and the coaching staff have put themselves in position to compete for a conference championship, and now turn their focus to that title game.”

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