The University of North Texas says this Saturday's game against the University of Houston is being canceled after several players tested positive for COVID-19.
The team said in a tweet that athletes, coaches and team personnel have been tested three times per week since August and that four positive tests were returned this week.
Those people are in isolation and their close contacts have been identified. The university said once contract tracing was completed the football program was unable to field a team for a game this week.
"We knew that there would be challenges with COVID-19 this season and we were taking precautions to hopefully avoid this situation," Wren Baker said, vice president and director of athletics at UNT. "Our student-athlete health and safety is the priority in every decision we make and that is what that difficult decision is based on. We are hopeful we can resume safe activities again soon."
"We understand this COVID-related decision North Texas has made to not play Saturday's game and appreciate the consistent dialogue with our program by UNT Athletics Director Wren Baker, his administration and medical staff during this week," UH Vice President for Athletics Chris Pezman said in a statement on the school's website. "I am disappointed for our student-athletes who have continued to focus on competing this season and were ready to play this Saturday. We will continue to work to adjust our schedule with the hopes of playing as soon as we can."
Houston was to open the season Saturday, Sept. 19 against the Baylor Bears, but that game, too, was canceled due to COVID-19. UNT, meanwhile, is 1-1 on the season after defeating Houston Baptist on Sept. 5 and losing to SMU on Sept. 19.
Both UNT and Houston are working to see if the game can be rescheduled for a later date.