The 2020 Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl has been canceled, ESPN Events announced on Tuesday.
The Gasparilla Bowl was set to feature the South Carolina Gamecocks against the UAB Blazers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Dec. 26, but the Gamecocks had to withdraw from the game due to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) issues.
“The team was excited to learn Sunday that it would play in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa on Saturday,” South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner said. “However, between members of the coaching staff and student-athletes, COVID and contact tracing has taken a toll too high for us to overcome. I have notified the bowl and the SEC office that we are not able to play in the game on Saturday.
“I am proud of this team. Their commitment to represent their program and University, themselves, their families, and their coaches, is second to none.”
South Carolina finishes their SEC-only 2020 season 2-8. The Gamecocks will open the 2021 season under new head coach Shane Beamer at home against the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Saturday, Sept. 4.
“The current environment has presented many challenges,” said Scott Glaser, executive director of the Gasparilla Bowl. “We looked into a number of options for UAB, but ultimately could not identify any opportunities for them to play at this time. We are appreciative of the many supporters in the community, including our new title sponsor – Union Home Mortgage, and look forward to staging the game in 2021.”
UAB closes the 2020 season 6-3 overall, 4-1 in Conference USA action, and Conference USA champions following their 22-13 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd.