The school announced that the annual competition game between Michigan and Ohio has been canceled due to an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week within the Wolverines program.
The decision was made after talks with medical experts, health administration officials and the university administration.
“The number of positive tests has continued to rise over the past seven days,” said Michigan Athletics Director Manuel Ward. “We have not been allowed to participate in the practice at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to form a team due to the COVID-19 positives and the associated quarantine required of close contact personnel.
“This decision is disappointing for our team and our coaches, but their health and safety is paramount and will always come first in our decision-making.”
Wolverines canceled their match against Maryland on December 5 and temporarily suspended all team activities. The program was approved for limited training on Monday and participated in those exercises, but the administration decided to cancel the game due to an increase in cases and the number of student-athletes in quarantine over the past week.
Michigan says it will continue with the daily test in hopes of returning to the field of practice when approved by medical officials.
The cancellation of this game places Ohio in a total of five games played this season, which is below the limit set by the Big Ten Conference to compete in the convention championship match against Northwestern.
The rule states that teams must play six matches to qualify for the tournament game, unless the average number of matches throughout the conference is less than six.
According to the sources, the top ten athletes’ managers will meet on Wednesday, where they can discuss a change of standard.
“I think we have to take a hard look periodically at all of these things, and that is one of those situations,” Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said on Tuesday. “If we don’t get the match we need in a tournament match, I think it has to be looked at seriously, just like everyone else at the conference. There is no easy solution at times like this.
“I know these guys will get together and take a hard look at it and make sure it was the right decision.”
Additionally, if another Big Ten game is canceled for Saturday, the convention could move around the games in an effort to get Ohio to play.
If Purdue, which abolished the practice on Tuesday to assess its latest COVID-19 tests, was forced to cancel against Indiana, the Big Ten could move across the games or restart Indiana and Ohio again.
If the convention does not change its rules and Ohio does not play on Saturday, Indiana will be the representative for the Eastern Division in the convention championship match.