UConn Football Cancels 2020-21 Season
On Wednesday, August 5, the University of Connecticut, an NCAA Division 1 program, announced the Huskies will not play a football season this fall, according to a press release issued from the athletic department.“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,” director of athletics David Benedict said in the release. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”
UConn became the first NCAA Division 1 FBS school to formally announce an outright cancelation of the football season.
According to the release, members of the team will continue to be enrolled in classes — whether it’s virtually or in-person — as full-time students at the university. Additionally, players will have continued access to facilities and other various support services in accordance with NCAA rules to ensure that the student-athletes stay on track academically.
The Huskies began its spring practice schedule in early February and were one of the only teams to complete its spring schedule, the release read. Recently, however, the ability to practice and condition has been limited.
“The necessary measures needed to mitigate [the] risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team,” Benedict said in the release. “Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”
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Last season, the Huskies went 2-10 (0-8 in the American Athletic Conference). At the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, UConn withdrew from the AAC and opted to play an independent schedule. In light of the pandemic, many football programs have opted for a conference-only schedule. Notre Dame, which plays an independent schedule in football, but is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, agreed to play an ACC schedule for football this season.
“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,” Huskies head football coach Randy Edsall said in the release. “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.”
To read the full release from UConn on the football program canceling the 2020-21 season, click here.