NEW (Dec. 9):
Indiana and Purdue have canceled Saturday’s football game because of an increase in COVID-19 cases at each school.
It’s the first time since 1919 that the annual in-state rivalry will not be played.
Both teams canceled practices Tuesday, pausing all team activities. On Wednesday, Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson and Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski mutually agreed to cancel the game.
“We’re certainly disappointed that we had to cancel the Old Oaken Bucket game,” they said in a joint statement, referring to the trophy that goes to the winner. “We both understand the history and tradition of one of the best rivalries in college football, but the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our primary priority. We will continue to monitor the situation on both campuses and listen to the advice of our medical professionals.”
Indiana will keep the trophy for another year after winning last year’s game in overtime. The Hoosiers (6-1) had already clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten East. Purdue (2-4) has lost four in a row.
PREVIOUS POST (Dec. 8):
Purdue says it has canceled Tuesday’s football practice to “evaluate the results of recent COVID-19 testing.” Athletic department officials provided no additional comment.
The Boilermakers are scheduled to renew their rivalry with No. 8 Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers won last year’s game in overtime to reclaim the Old Oaken Bucket.
Indiana (6-1) already has locked up the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten East and has met the minimum standard of playing six games to be eligible for the conference championship game.
Purdue (2-4) has lost four straight and has had some issues with COVID this season. Coach Jeff Brohm missed the season opener after testing positive and all-conference defensive end George Karlaftis sat out the last two games after also testing positive. The Boilermakers also had their Week 3 game at Wisconsin canceled because of a COVID outbreak.