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Cal, USC Football Game Postponed Due To COVID Outbreak Among 99% Vaccinated Golden Bears Football Program
BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 23: California Golden Bears safety Elijah Hicks (3) celebrates his interception with his team during the college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the California Golden Bears on October 23, 2021 at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, CA. (Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the first time in the 2021-2022 college football season, a game has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. 

On Saturday, the Cal Golden Bears lost to the Arizona Wildcats after being forced to play with less than 50 scholarship players due to 24 players and five coaches being held out for COVID-19 protocols.  

On Tuesday, the university announced the postponement of Cal’s upcoming game against USC due to additional football players testing positive for COVID-19.

“It was a difficult decision to postpone this Saturday’s game against USC,” Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “We know how important every one of our games is to our student-athletes, especially our seniors who have been incredible representatives of the program, but it was the right thing to do. Due to additional impact on specific position groups, we have decided to postpone Saturday’s game. We have had multiple COVID-19 positives within our program, and we are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread and protect the greater community.”

Even though the university has stated that the football program is 99% vaccinated, at least 44 people have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week, according to Berkeley’s Department of Public Health. 

“Berkeley Public Health continues to work closely with University Health Services to help contain and respond to a major COVID-19 outbreak involving the coaches, students, and staff in the Cal Football program,” the statement says. “All of these 44 lab-confirmed cases involve people infected with highly contagious COVID-19, which spreads easily unless public health safeguards are used.”

On Monday, Cal quarterback Chase Garbers — who missed the Arizona game due to COVID-19 protocols — posted a statement of frustration on social media regarding testing by the University Health Services.  

“We have worked too hard to have someone take this all away from us,” Garbers wrote.“It is wrong. We deserve answers and transparent communication.”


Cal linebacker Luc Bequette also weighed in regarding testing, claiming that University Health Services threatened to arrest vaccinated players who refused to test. 

“UHS told us we could be arrested for refusing to test as vaccinated individuals with no symptoms,” Bequette posted to Twitter. “If I understand correctly, I can go to San Francisco, steal a bunch of items in a Walgreens, and not be arrested. However, if I refuse a test in Berkeley, I can be… “


Tuesday night, a spokesperson for Berkeley’s Department of Public Health blamed the program for the outbreak in an email to The San Francisco Chronicle. 

“Cases emerged in an environment of ongoing failure to abide by public health measures,” the statement reads. “People in the program did not: Get tested when sick, stay home when sick, [or wear] masks indoors.”

 “These simple measures keep people safe,” the statement continues. “Failing to do so results not only in individual infections, sickness, and worse, but also threatens the safety of all around them – especially those with compromised immune systems.”

The game has been rescheduled for December 4, a day after the PAC-12 Championship Game, which both USC and Cal have been eliminated from.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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