CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois was scheduled to play football at Wisconsin on Sept. 12, but the game was effectively canceled on Thursday when the Big Ten announced it was going to a conference-only schedule this season.
The game would have been the first meeting between the Salukis and Badgers and mark just the ninth time Southern has faced a Big Ten opponent. The game contract called for SIU to receive a $500,000 guarantee payment.
“I spoke to an athletic official at the University of Wisconsin this afternoon,” said SIU Director of Athletics Liz Jarnigan. “They were apologetic about the cancellation of our game, and we agreed to work together regarding the resulting impact on our program.”
Jarnigan said she has already started looking for an opponent to replace Wisconsin on Sept. 12. The Salukis are scheduled to open the season on Sept. 3 at UT Martin and will host SEMO on Sept. 19.
“We have been working with campus and local health officials throughout the summer on a plan for the safe return to competition for our student-athletes,” Jarnigan said. “None of our athletes have tested positive for Covid 19 so far, and we have rigorous health protocols in place to monitor and protect our players and staff.”