COLLEGE PARK, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Maryland Athletics has canceled Saturday's scheduled football game against Michigan State due to COVID-19 concerns. The game will not be rescheduled and all team training activities have been paused.
The Maryland vs. Michigan State game was originally set for Dec. 5, but was postponed to Dec. 19 after Maryland Head Coach Michael Locksley tested positive for COVID-19.
Per Big Ten Conference protocols, all football student-athletes and football staff continue to undergo daily testing. Between Dec. 10 and 16, 15 student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a Big Ten test positivity rate of 2.4%.
There were six positive cases among staff over that same time period, resulting in a population positivity rate of 12.4%. All positive individuals are now in designated isolation spaces, per health protocols.
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"This has been a season of promise and of adversity," said Head Coach Michael Locksley. "Our team has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic, resolve and displayed Maryland pride throughout this unique season. We have battled two opponents each week, the team we matched up with on the field and COVID. Together, we experienced tremendous highs and we are deeply disappointed that we will not be able to test ourselves on the field against Michigan State."
Maryland Athletics, as part of a gradual, phased approach to athletic training and competition, is working with the University Health Center to conduct regular COVID-19 testing. In preparation for this ongoing testing period, the organization says they have worked with state, county and university health officials to develop appropriate protocols in the event of positive test results, including education, contact identification and tracing, and self-isolation.
Some students on campus FOX 5's Ayesha Khan caught up with Thursday night said that while they hate to see the impact of COVID-19 on their beloved college football team, their school made the right call.
"I just don’t think there is any need to put anyone in any unnecessary risk so I think taking all the precautions are good and they’re doing what they should do," said graduate student Maddie West.
Freshman Gabrielle Ryan said, "You want that college experience, and part of that is football, but with everything going on with COVID, it’s the right thing to do."