Rice - UTEP football game canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests

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Saturday, November 28, 2020
Rice University delays football practice until late September
What's the reason behind it all? Hit play for more.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Rice University football fans didn't get to see their team hit the gridiron this weekend.

The program announced Saturday afternoon that the football game against the University of Texas at El Paso was canceled due to positive tests and contract tracing within the UTEP program.

In an initial tweet posted around 10 a.m., Rice said the game, originally scheduled for noon, would be delayed pending a second round of testing on participants.

Two hours later, it was confirmed no one would be taking the field.

SEE RELATED STORY: What losing football to COVID-19 would mean for Texas college towns: 'It's like losing Christmas'

The UTEP Miners were set to take on the Owls at Rice Stadium in a Conference USA battle.

Prior to the start of the season, the Rice Athletics Department delayed the opening of football practice until late September due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our top priority is the safety of our community," said Rice Athletics Director Joe Karlgaard at the time. "Rice has safely welcomed back a majority of its student body and will continue to prioritize an on-campus college experience. The very low rates of infection among our campus community are the result of a communal effort and one that requires continued vigilance and dedication. At the same time, we will continue to explore options to allow a football season to happen in 2020."

The video above from September 2020 explains why Rice University's football program chose to delay practice initially.

There's no word on when or how the Rice vs UTEP game would be made up.

At least 12 college football games have been canceled this week because of COVID-19, including the University of Houston's game against Tulsa. That game is now set to be made up Dec. 19.

RELATED STORY: UH shuts down voluntary workouts after 6 student-athletes test positive for COVID-19

The video above is from a previous report.