2 more college football bowl games canceled because of Covid-19

The Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, featuring Boston College and East Carolina University, will not be played Monday, officials said. Neither will the inaugural Fenway Bowl in Boston between the University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University, which had been set for Wednesday.

The Sun Bowl featuring the Miami Hurricanes and the Washington State Cougars was searching for a new team to participate Sunday after the University of Miami said it was withdrawing due to Covid-19 protocols.
Washington State said it’s working with the Pac-12 conference and the Sun Bowl Association to “hopefully find a replacement for the game.”

The Sun Bowl is scheduled for Friday in El Paso, Texas.

Sunday’s announcements mean five bowl games have now been impacted in the past week by a rise in Covid-19 cases across the United States that has also hampered pro sports, snarled holiday travel and taxed health care systems.

Boston College did not have enough players available due to a rise in Covid-19 cases, Director of Athletics Pat Kraft said.

“Unfortunately, due to cases of Covid-19 rising within our program since our arrival, along with season-ending injuries, opt-outs and transfers, we just do not have enough players to field a team,” Kraft said. “We are disappointed not to be able to finish the season together as a team, but the health and safety of our program is our highest priority.”

Having to cancel is a “terrible situation,” the bowl’s president and executive director, Steve Beck, said in a statement.

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“We appreciate everyone who worked so hard to try to make the game happen. Of course, the health and safety of the players and coaches is top priority,” he said. “The decision not to play is understandable, but disappointing.”

The Military Bowl Parade and the Military Bowl Tailgate Festival, scheduled for Monday morning, also are canceled.

The University of Virginia team’s number of Covid-19 cases also prevented it from safely participating in the Fenway Bowl in Boston, it said.

The team was “extremely disappointed,” Virginia Athletics Director Carla Williams said.

“We appreciate all of the hard work by our team and coaching staff. They earned this bowl invitation, and it is unfortunate they will not be able to compete in the game to complete the season,” she said. “We regret how this also impacts our fans who were planning on attending the game as well as the SMU program and its fans.”

All activities associated with the Fenway Bowl will no longer take place, Fenway Sports Management said.

“Though we all are disappointed that the Wasabi Fenway Bowl will not be played this year, we are grateful to our community partners, sponsors, volunteers, and stakeholders for their hard work to introduce college bowl season to Fenway Park,” Fenway Sports Management said in a statement. “We’d like to extend that appreciation to both schools and fanbases for their enthusiastic support. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2022 Wasabi Fenway Bowl.”

Miami’s deputy director of athletics, Jennifer Strawley, echoed the other teams’ statements, saying they were “extremely disappointed” not to participate in the Sun Bowl.

“But due to the number of Covid-19 cases impacting our roster we do not have enough student-athletes to safely compete, and the health and safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” Strawley said.

The coronavirus has now impacted five bowl games.

The Hawaii Bowl scheduled for Christmas Eve was canceled, as the University of Hawaii withdrew because of Covid-19 issues. Hawaii was scheduled to face the University of Memphis.

On Wednesday, Texas A&M University announced it would not be able to participate in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest University on New Year’s Eve. Rutgers University will replace Texas A&M in the game.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Sun Bowl was canceled. Washington State and bowl officials are working to find a team to replace the Miami Hurricanes in the game.

Read More: 2 more college football bowl games canceled because of Covid-19

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