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Houston has fifth game impacted by COVID-19 with cancellation of North Texas opener

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 9/23/2020 Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY
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The Houston Cougars can’t seem to get on the field this year.

Saturday’s game with North Texas has been called off after four Mean Green players tested positive for the coronavirus this week. Due to contact tracing and quarantine protocols, North Texas will be unable to field a team, the school announced.

 "We knew that there would be challenges with COVID-19 this season and we were taking precautions to hopefully avoid this situation," North Texas athletics director Wren Baker said in a statement. "Our student-athlete health and safety is the priority in every decision we make and that is what this difficult decision is based on. We are hopeful we can resume safe activities soon."

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The COVID-19 situation has wreaked havoc on everybody’s schedule, but Houston’s tribulations are unusual even by 2020 standards. It's the fifth adjustment of a planned game in the past two months.

The Cougars’ matchup with Washington State was off the slate when the Pac-12 pulled the plug on non-conference contests this summer, and Houston’s original season opener with Rice was also postponed. When their American Athletic Conference game with Memphis also had to be moved, Houston hastily scheduled a game at Baylor for last weekend. But that game, too, was canceled just a day before kickoff.

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"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," Houston athletics director Chris Pezman said in a statement. "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’s next scheduled game is a Thursday night home date with Tulane on Oct. 8.

Arkansas State’s game with Tulane is also off this Saturday schedule due to the Red Wolves’ ongoing COVID issues. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Houston has fifth game impacted by COVID-19 with cancellation of North Texas opener

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