UConn on Wednesday announced that it has canceled its 2020 college football season, becoming the first team in the FBS division to do so.
In making their announcement, the Huskies claimed the decision was made after “receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes.” The decision has been supported by UConn athletic director David Benedict, coach Randy Edsall and the team itself, despite the fact the team has not produced any positive tests for the coronavirus.
“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” Edsall said in a statement. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”
MORE: List of notable football players opting out of 2020 college football season
Football players released a blanket statement supporting the move as well:
“As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020. We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”
UConn might be the first of several FBS teams to cancel their respective seasons, but it faced unique challenges ahead of the 2020 campaign, which would have been its first as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies were forced to cancel games against Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, Ole Miss and North Carolina as those teams’ respective conferences moved to conference scheduling only; their game against Maine was also canceled as the Black Bears postponed their fall sports.
In its statement, UConn said it will work with the Big East — in which it is a member in other sports as of the 2020-21 academic year — to determine the status of its remaining sports.
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