The Old Oaken Bucket might not hold a lot of prestige, but it does carry a lot of tradition in its wooden staves for the Universities of Indiana and Purdue, who have played for the 95-year-old trophy since 1925 when it was dreamed up at a Chicago meeting of alumni from both schools. It wasn’t an easy decision, then, but both universities agreed to cancel the game this year because of rising Covid-19 numbers at both institutions.

A short time ago media was sent a joint statement from Purdue’s Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Bobinski, and Indiana Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson. The statement read as follows.

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.

Teams from the two schools first played each other in 1891, and have met annually every year since 1920, reaching 122 total meetings last season when the Hoosiers beat the Boilermakers 44-41 in West Lafayette. The rivalry has survived many things and it will likely survive the year of Covid, too. But chalk up another victory for the virus, which has taken far more than its pound of flesh in year of our lord 2020.