Fox Sports announced Wednesday that Rob Stone, Brady Quinn, Urban Meyer, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart — the hosts of its “Big Noon Kickoff” college football pregame show — will not be present for Saturday’s broadcast “out of an abundance of caution.” The network did not say in its announcement whether any of the hosts had tested positive for coronavirus or whether they had contact with someone who had tested positive, merely saying it was acting “in accordance with CDC guidance [and] Los Angeles County Department of Public Health safety guidelines.”
Saturday’s show will be reduced from its usual two hours to one and start at 11 a.m. Eastern, with Charissa Thompson, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Emmanuel Acho hosting.
None of the hosts have directly commented on their situations, but Stone’s responses to Twitter well-wishes on Wednesday night seemed to indicate that he was feeling well.
Pacific-12 football teams will begin their pandemic-shortened seasons on Saturday, with the Fox pregame show serving as the lead-in to a game between USC and Arizona State that begins at 9 a.m. local time in Los Angeles. The attention-starved Power Five conference is experimenting with early kickoffs this season to see if it can boost TV ratings and give Pac-12 teams a bigger share of the national spotlight.
Also Wednesday, California announced that its season opener against Washington on Saturday night was in danger of being postponed after a player tested positive for coronavirus and a “significant” number of players needed contact tracing, Coach Justin Wilcox said.
“If it is feasible for us to play we are going to play the game,” Wilcox told reporters. “Are there hurdles? There are hurdles, yes. With the players in question the game is in jeopardy. If we have the bodies available to play the game we will play the game. Several people are being held out and that’s a legitimate threat to the game.”