Just hours after the California-UCLA Pac-12 games were canceled, the conference announced that the teams would play against each other at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.
“The planning of this game is in line with the conference’s commitment to providing opportunities for athletes through maximum planning flexibility while prioritizing health and safety,” the Pac-12 said in a statement Friday.
Kick-off is scheduled for noon and Sunday and the game will air on Fox Sports 1.
Cal was originally scheduled to play in the state of Arizona on Saturday and UCLA was supposed to host Utah. These games have been canceled due to positive cases of COVID-19 and associated contact tracing for the state of Arizona and Utah.
“First and foremost, I would like to praise our soccer student athletes for their flexibility and focus amid great uncertainties,” said UCLA Sports Director Martin Jarmond in a statement. “I would also like to thank Jim Knowlton, Justin Wilcox, and the Cal Football Program and the leaders of the Pac-12 conference for working diligently with us to find a way to stand our ground this weekend unconventional solution in an unconventional year and we look forward to hosting the bears at the Rose Bowl on Sunday. “
Cal’s game against Washington was canceled last week due to contact tracing logs related to a positive case of COVID-19. The Golden Bears were without multiple players, including the entire line of defense, which was not expected to be able to exit quarantine until Sunday.
It’s unclear when the bears will travel to Pasadena. However, given the early kick-off, it is likely to happen on Saturday before the players are due to leave quarantine.
“We have known from the start of this pandemic that there could be challenges this season and that we need to remain flexible and find ways to be creative while the health and safety of our student athletes continues to be our top priority.” Cal Sporting Director Knowlton said in a statement, “This has certainly been an emotional roller coaster ride for those on our program, especially our student athletes, but we must remain as diligent as ever and adhere to federal, state and local protocols. We are grateful for the work of everyone involved. “Able to play this game at short notice.”
Cal-UCLA marks the first regular season college football game on an NFL Sunday since the 2017 season. This year, after Labor Day, there were two Sunday games – Akron-Western Michigan and East Carolina-UConn.
Due to the change in schedule, the UCLA Oregon game scheduled for next Friday will take place on November 21st instead.
Last week, the Big Ten presidents approved a similar rescheduling process in case two games are canceled in the same week. If two of the four teams are still “medically eligible” they could play against each other if both teams agree and the decision is made on the Wednesday before the game by 12pm CT.
Unlike the SEC, the Big Ten state that it doesn’t matter whether the institutions played against each other earlier this season or are supposed to play later this season.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich contributed to this report.