There won’t be an Old Oaken Bucket game this year. We really mean it this time.
Due to COVID-19 testing results at both Indiana and Purdue, the two schools announced Tuesday that they have mutually agreed to cancel this year’s annual rivalry game. It’s the second time in six days that the game has been wiped off the docket.
Last week, the contest was erased from the regular season schedule as test results inside the programs in Bloomington and West Lafayette began to rise. It was returned to the schedule for the Big Ten’s first-ever Champions Week crossover event — though that move was likely made with knowledge that this matchup was unlikely to happen.
And now it won’t.
“Upon the advice of our medical professionals and in following the guidelines and protocols established for this season, we are not able to play Friday,” IU athletic director Scott Dolson and his counterpart at Purdue, Mike Bobinski, said in a joint statement. “As we stated last week, we know the history and tradition of this great rivalry game and how much it means to our current students, alumni and fans. Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn’t possible. We are certainly disappointed that we cannot play in 2020, but look forward to seeing each other on the field next season and competing once again for the Old Oaken Bucket.”
Although there’s no game, it’ll be a busy week for IU. The next round of College Football Playoff rankings will be released tonight, the early signing period begins on Wednesday morning and Selection Sunday for bowl games is this weekend.