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Michigan football cancels final game of season vs. Iowa due to COVID-19

Wolverines were scheduled to play Hawkeyes as part of Big Ten’s ‘Champions Week’

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts in the second half while playing the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts in the second half while playing the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (2020 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football has canceled its final game of the 2020 season against Iowa due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns within the program.

The announcement comes two days after the Big Ten matched up the Wolverines and Hawkeyes as part of its “Champions Week” slate.

LAST WEEK: Michigan cancels rivalry football game vs. Ohio State due to rising COVID-19 cases

“In accordance with the Big Ten COVID-19 medical policies and health guidelines, we are without a significant number of players for this week’s game,” Athletic Director Warde Manuel said. “Couple that with the normal attrition due to injury, and we do not have enough available players at multiple position groups to field a team at Iowa. We have more student-athletes out this week compared to last week and the week prior.

“The number of positive tests over the past three weeks, which require a 21-day unavailability period, and the contact tracing requirements associated with those numbers has pushed our current list of unavailable student-athletes to over 50. This is a very unfortunate situation and we are disappointed that our program will not be able to finish the season against the Hawkeyes.

“I am very proud of the way that our players worked to try and get back onto the field but the numbers simply don’t support us taking the field on Saturday. This has been a very challenging and difficult 2020 for everyone and we want to make sure we are doing what is right for our student-athletes at every step along the way, and that ultimately is ensuring their health, safety and welfare.”

It’s the third straight week Michigan has had to cancel due to the virus. Both the Maryland and Ohio State games were also canceled.

Jim Harbaugh’s team will finish the season with a 2-4 record.

MORE: Warde Manuel slams Kirk Herbstreit for suggesting Michigan shut down over fear of Ohio State game

While Ohio State and Northwestern play for the Big Ten title, the rest of the “Champions Week” matchups look like this:

  • Nebraska (7th in West) at Rutgers (5th in East)
  • Purdue (5th in West) at Indiana (2nd in East)
  • Minnesota (3rd in West) at Wisconsin (4th in West)
  • Illinois (6th in West) at Penn State (4th in East)
  • Michigan State (7th in East) at Maryland (3rd in East)

About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.