UCLA and USC athletics hampered by COVID-19 scares

COVID-19 takes its toll on the LA schools

COVID-19 has uprooted the sports world recently. In the past few weeks, UCLA and USC have been no exception. 

USC football, currently ranked No. 15 in the nation, has had one game canceled and many players out due to one of two reasons: actually being infected with the virus, or being deemed a high-risk contact with someone who was infected through contact tracing.

Due to both infections and contact tracing, the Trojans game versus Colorado was canceled last week because USC did not have enough scholarship players to be able to adequately play in the game. The game was declared a no contest, although Colorado was able to quickly replace the Trojans on their schedule with San Diego State. USC’s following game against Washington state was delayed, but ultimately played.

“We are disappointed for our players and fans and those from Colorado that Saturday’s game will not be played, but the health and safety of everyone in both programs is of the utmost priority,” USC head coach Clay Helton said. “We will continue to test and monitor our players, coaches and staff and take guidance from health officials as we prepare for our remaining games.”

UCLA football has had their own share of issues. The Bruins have had five people in their program test positive, and many more held out due to  contact tracing. This left the team without several key starters for their games versus Oregon and Arizona, including starting quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Thompson-Robinson later clarified that he did not have COVID-19, but rather was being held out due to contact tracing. 

“I will not have the opportunity to play vs. Oregon today for reasons out of my control. Frustrated I can’t help the team but they will still be great regardless! #GoBruins,” Thompson-Robinson tweeted.

The Bruins split the two games they played without Thompson-Robinson and eight other players.

UCLA basketball has also had to make changes due to COVID-19 through no fault of their own. The Bruins game versus Long Beach State was canceled due to positive tests in the Long Beach State program. The game has been rescheduled for Dec.15.