For the first time in more than a century, Indiana and Purdue won’t play for the Old Oaken Bucket.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Hoosiers and Boilermakers announced that they’ve canceled Friday’s scheduled game in Bloomington, Indiana, because of COVID-19 concerns in both programs.

The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 12 but was pushed back after both programs paused football activity last week because of positive cases for the coronavirus and contact tracing.

The Boilermakers and Hoosiers have played in every season since 1920. The last time the in-state rivalry game wasn’t played was during the influenza pandemic in 1918 and 1919.

“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,” Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski and Indiana AD Scott Dolson 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.”

The No. 12 Hoosiers finish the regular season with a 6-1 record. They are positioned to play in their first major bowl game since the 1968 Rose Bowl. The Boilermakers are 2-4.

The Hoosiers will keep the Old Oaken Bucket trophy for another year after last season’s 44-41 victory in two overtimes.



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