UConn announced on Wednesday that it has canceled its 2020 college football season, becoming the first team in the FBS division.
In their announcement, the Huskies claimed that the decision was made after “receiving guidance from government and public health officials and consultation with athletes from football students.” The decision was supported by UConn athletic director David Benedict, coach Randy Edsall and the team itself, despite the fact that the team has not produced any positive tests for the coronavirus.
“We are committed and listened to the concerns of our football athletes and think 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 develop player development within the program and align with the 2021 season.”
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Footballers have also released a general statement in support of the move:
“As a team, we fully support the decision not to compete in 2020. We have many health problems and not enough is known about the possible long-term effects of entering into COVID-19. In addition, we have not had the optimal time to mentally and physically train to be well prepared to compete this season We love this game and we love to compete We came to campus in early July knowing there would be challenges to the pandemic, but it is now clear to us that these challenges impossible to overcome. “
UConn may be the first of several FBS teams to cancel their respective seasons, but it faced unique challenges ahead of the 2020 campaign, which would be the first to be independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference. The Huskies were forced to cancel games against Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, Ole Miss, and North Carolina because those teams’ respective conferences went only to conference planning; their game against Maine was also canceled because the black bears postponed their fall sport.
In its statement, UConn said it will work with the Great East – in which it will be a member of other sports from the 2020-21 academic year – to determine the status of its remaining sports.