The University of Connecticut has just announced it’s canceling its 2020 college football season over the COVID-19 pandemic … the first major college program to do so.
“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a statement.
“The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student athletes at an unacceptable risk.”
Benedict says the University ultimately felt “the necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team.”
“Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”
The University says football players will still be able to continue as students — meaning, they can take classes either in person or virtually — and will have access to all of the support services they need.
The UConn players also issued a statement they are “in full support of the decision to not compete.”
“We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19.”
The players continued, “Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season.”
The obvious concern now … will other major programs follow UConn’s lead?
Is the 2020 college football season doomed?
UConn isn’t exactly a college football powerhouse — they were 2-10 while playing in the AACA in 2019 and were expected to compete as an independent (no official conference affiliation) in 2020.