Indiana University and Purdue University have squared off on the football field every year since 1920.
Now, their rivalry game for the Old Oaken Bucket has been canceled for the second time in two weeks—and the third time this season. Athletic directors Scott Dolson and Mike Bobinski said Friday’s game had been scrapped because of continuing concerns over COVID-19.
“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,” they said Tuesday. “Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn’t possible.”
The final month of the season, including bowl games, is likely to be affected by the pandemic, just as the regular season was. Approximately 125 games since late August have been postponed or canceled, including the Frisco Bowl scheduled for Saturday: SMU had to withdraw from the game about 25 miles from its Dallas campus and its opponent, UTSA, is switching to the First Responders Bowl at SMU’s stadium Dec. 26 against a team to be determined later.
In Indiana, the cancellation came just as the Boilermakers (2-4) appeared ready to resume football activities after pausing them a week ago on the same day Indiana took the same step.
It’s unclear whether the cancellation will end a bizarre year which began with Brohm missing the season-opener after testing positive for COVID-19.
“We’re not looking down that road,” coach Jeff Brohm said Monday when asked whether Purdue might be interesting in playing in a bowl game since there is no minimum number of wins needed this season.
The cancellation is a disappointing blow to the Hoosiers (6-1), who are having one of their best seasons in decades. The Hoosiers haven’t won a bowl game since 1991 and Allen believes that would be a good way to wrap up a historic season.