The Charlotte 49er football team announced on Thursday, Sept. 17 that their scheduled matchup with North Carolina has been canceled due to the impact contact tracing quarantine had on a key position group.
In a statement, the 49ers have announced there have been three positive cases of coronavirus on the football team during the last couple of weeks. Those individuals have been placed in isolation and are to quarantine for 14 days. This week’s game was canceled ultimately due to the fact that members on the offensive line have been placed into quarantine.
Conference USA athletes are tested three times a week.
The game would have been Charlotte’s second of the year and first-ever against the Tar Heels. The 49ers lost to Appalachian State last week, 35-20.
There is no evidence that any football players contracted the virus during the trip to play Appalachian State.
“There’s no indication whatsoever that this is in any way related to our game at App State,” said athletic director Mike Hill.
At this time, there will be no makeup for the game, according to Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill.
"We're extremely disappointed to have to cancel our game at North Carolina. While I know our team is heartbroken, due to the number of players in quarantine, we could not safely play,” said Hill. “We very much appreciate the University of North Carolina having scheduled this game with us. Unfortunately, we do not currently share any common open dates to reschedule."
Across the Charlotte athletic department, there have been 3,150 tests administered for student-athletes, coaches and staff. There have been 20 total positive cases. 200 tests were administered on Monday, Sept. 14 with one positive test.
Hill did confirm in a press conference that the player that the player tested positive on Monday did test negative on Wednesday.
The 49ers only had 11 games scheduled for the 2020 season before the cancelation of the North Carolina game. The team had already lost a CUSA opponent once Old Dominion canceled fall sports due to the coronavirus. Charlotte now only has nine more games this season.
Hill said there are looking at other options to play another team this season. The 49ers have an open date on Nov. 14. Other teams that don’t have a game on Nov. 14 at this time include Clemson, Texas, Kansas and a handful of other Power 5 conference teams.
Charlotte could face more bumps in the road moving ahead this season. The 49ers’ Oct. 3 opponent, Florida Atlantic, postponed its game on Sept. 19 due to the coronavirus.
Charlotte’s game against the Tar Heels would have been the second game in a row that would have been televised to a large audience and will not get any financial benefits that the game would have provided.
Charlotte was slated to earn $500,000 for traveling to face the ACC powerhouse Tarheels and for now, the 49ers don’t appear to have another opportunity on the rise to face another Power 5 conference team in place of the Tar Heels.
“This is difficult to walk away from a game like this,” said Hill. “We did because we followed the protocols that were in place.”
As of Sept. 17, Charlotte still plans to host Georgia State in their home opener on Sept. 26 with no fans present.