Sources: Week Four Vanderbilt-Missouri game to be postponed due to COVID-19

Vanderbilt will not travel to Missouri for its Oct. 17 contest due to COVID-19 related restrictions, multiple sources told The Hustler.

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Claire Barnett

Missouri plays Vanderbilt in football on Saturday, November 18, 2017. (Hustler Multimedia/Claire Barnett)

Simon Gibbs, Sports Editor

Last Updated: Oct. 12 at 2:45 p.m. CDT to include confirmation from Vanderbilt and the Southeastern Conference.

The Vanderbilt Commodores (0-3) will not travel to face the Missouri Tigers (1-2) on Oct. 17, multiple sources told The Hustler. The postponement, first reported by PowerMizzou, is due to a significant number of COVID-19 related quarantines, multiple sources confirmed.

The game is now tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12, according to a tweet from the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Vanderbilt University confirmed through a press release at 2:30 p.m. CDT that the postponement was a result of a shortage of scholarship players, as a number of student-athletes are quarantining with positive tests or because they were marked as close contacts.

Vanderbilt took the field with just 56 active scholarship players in its Week Three matchup with South Carolina due to quarantines. On Friday night, Vanderbilt safety Donovan Kaufman suggested in a since-deleted tweet that he wouldn’t play on Saturday, with a subsequent reply stating he had tested positive for COVID-19.

In September, a new Southeastern Conference (SEC) rule set a minimum requirement of 53 active scholarship players to participate in a football contest. If a school falls below 53, the impacted institution has the option to either play the game with fewer than the 53 scholarship players or defer to Commissioner Greg Sankey, who may reschedule the game or declare a no contest.

The Missouri Tigers were hit with quarantines of their own in Week Three. In a 45-41 win over LSU, the Tigers were missing eight impact players, including three starters, as a result of COVID-related quarantines. While both teams had a number of players placed in isolation, the SEC tweeted that the rescheduling is due to Vanderbilt falling below the threshold, not Missouri.

“The league and universities have been prepared for the likelihood of disruptions within the season while we all navigate the various challenges and complexities of competing during a global pandemic. As always, we are committed to taking whatever steps necessary for the health and safety of our students and community,” Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Storey Lee said in the press release and reiterated on Twitter.

“While we share in the disappointment that this Saturday’s game will be postponed, our program is deeply appreciative of the tireless efforts put forth by student-athletes, university officials, conference administrators and medical experts who have risen to the challenge of helping us navigate these unprecedented circumstances,” head coach Derek Mason said. “The safety and well-being of our student-athletes will remain a top priority as we continue the season, and we look forward to returning to competition.”