Mizzou Athletics is pausing all football related activities through Jan. 2 and will skip Wednesday’s Music City Bowl against Iowa. Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced the decision on Sunday afternoon, due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among its student-athletes, coaches and staff following Mizzou Football’s final regular-season game at Mississippi State.
“Since concluding our regular season and conducting four rounds of tests over the last eight days, we have seen a significant increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and after consulting with local health officials, our team physicians and MU Health’s Dr. Steve Whitt, who is our representative on the SEC Medical Task Force, we unfortunately must pause all football team-related activities until at least January 2 to help contain the virus’ spread and ensure the health and well-being of everyone within our program and the community,” Sterk said. “Our student-athletes have been extremely diligent in following all of the SEC’s COVID-19 testing protocols since returning to campus back in the summer, and we are incredibly proud of their efforts to play every regular-season game this fall, as well as the success they have had on the field against a 10-game all-SEC schedule that included five games against nationally-ranked opponents, and in the classroom during the fall semester,” he added. “However, this eight-day uptick within our program is significant and has made it impossible for us to play in the bowl game, which I know comes as a disappointment to our student-athletes, coaches and fans, who were excited about the opportunity to play a great Iowa team in Nashville.”
Iowa had just resumed practices this weekend after taking a five-day pause due to COVID-19. Late last week, Sterk told me in an exclusive interview that he had expected Iowa to be ready.