Dr. Jay Blackman, UTC's senior associate athletics director for strategic communications, confirmed the Big Ten's decision to ESPN.
"We knew at the beginning of the conversations that it was going to be a long shot," Blackman told ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "We were trying to do things to get ready. People were excited."
Nebraska's scheduled Big Ten game with Wisconsin was canceled after all Wisconsin team-related activities were paused this week because of an increased number of COVID-19 cases within the program.
Nebraska, in trying to find a replacement at the last minute, had put together a deal to face Chattanooga, which lost to Western Kentucky 13-10 last week. It was the Mocs' only game this fall. The Southern Conference voted to play its season in the spring, and Chattanooga's next scheduled game is Feb. 20 against VMI.
Chattanooga tested its players and staff members Wednesday, and the results all came back negative, sources told ESPN. Chattanooga conducted another round of tests Thursday morning, and Nebraska was going to test the players and staff members again on Friday in Lincoln when they got off the plane. The plan was for Chattanooga to be tested again on Saturday morning before the game.
Sources told ESPN that Nebraska has agreed to pay for all of Chattanooga's testing.
Nebraska officials notified Chattanooga officials by phone Thursday morning that a Big Ten committee had not approved the game to be played, sources told ESPN.