IU and Purdue football mutually agree to cancel 2020 Old Oaken Bucket game

It has not been a good Wednesday for Indiana football fans.

Just around an hour after learning that the Hoosiers were going to be bumped out of the Big Ten championship game it has been announced that the annual battle for the Old Oaken Bucket has been canceled.

Indiana and Purdue made the announcement in a joint release.

“Indiana and Purdue have mutually agreed to cancel Saturday’s scheduled football game at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington due to rising COVID-19 numbers at both schools,” the schools said in the release.

Athletic directors Scott Dolson and Mike Bobinski also made a joint statement.

“We’re certainly disappointed that we had to cancel the Old Oaken Bucket game. We both understand the history and tradition of one of the best rivalries in college football, but the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our primary priority. We will continue to monitor the situation on both campuses and listen to the advice of our medical professionals.” – Joint statement from Indiana Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson and Purdue Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski

Both schools made announcements on Tuesday that suggested this outcome was a possibility.

Purdue announced that it had canceled practice while it awaited test results.

Meanwhile, Indiana announced that it had paused all team related activities.

This is the first time since the 1918 and 1919 seasons that the rivalry battle will not be played.  The country was in the midst of the Spanish flu pandemic at that time.

Indiana won the Bucket back from Purdue in 2019, meaning the trophy will spend another year in Bloomington.  IU has won five of the last seven meetings in the series.  The Hoosiers won at Purdue 44-41 in double overtime last November.

Indiana (6-1) is still expected to play in week nine, although that is uncertain right now as well due to the pause of team activities.  Iowa is the most likely opponent based on the standings.  The day (Dec. 18 or 19) and on-campus location is still to be determined.

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