Gophers Bateman opts out of remainder of the season

Ruben Hill
November 26, 2020

Gophers' star receiver Rashod Bateman is opting out of the remainder of the 2020 season amid the cancellation of Saturday's game against Wisconsin, he announced on Twitter Wednesday.

Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle and president Joan Gabel made the decision at the recommendation of athletic medical director Dr. Brad Nelson, who's on the conference's COVID-19 task force, after consultation with Big Ten officials.

Bateman was one of the first notable players to opt out of the season in August after becoming sick with COVID-19 during the summer. With this week's cancelation, Wisconsin is down to five games after their week two and three games against Nebraska and Purdue were canceled. The Big Ten mandated that teams must compete in at least six games this season to be eligible to compete in the conference championship.

This is the Badgers' third game to be canceled this season. But even if Northwestern loses out, the Badgers have no chance to come back and secure the top spot in the Big Ten West. The Golden Gophers are scheduled to host Northwestern on December 5. "We will return when it is determined safe to do so by medical experts". That includes the cancelation of Saturday's Interstate 94 rivalry contest between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Gophers and Badgers have faced each other 129 times, making it the most-played series involving FBS teams. The conference could always alter that plan and stage a Minnesota-Wisconsin redo, but Coyle declined to speculate on that.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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