The 2020 Lamar Cardinals at Rice Owls football game has been canceled, both schools announced on Friday.
Rice was scheduled to host Lamar at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. The game would have been the fifth meeting between the two schools on the gridiron and first since 1987.
Lamar was slated to be the season-opener for Rice because the Owls have delayed the start of their season to Sept. 26 due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Unless they schedule a replacement opponent, Rice is now set to open the 2020 season at Conference USA foe Marshall on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Rice’s home-opener is also now a Conference USA opponent, as UAB is scheduled to visit Rice Stadium on Oct. 10. The remainder of Rice’s 2020 schedule includes six more conference opponents, plus games at home against Army and at Houston if they can agree on new dates.
“I know this is a very heartbreaking decision for the coaches, players and fans of both schools,” said LU Director of Athletics Marco Born. “At the end of the day, it comes down to a safety issue, and we must do what is in the best interest of our student-athletes. We have so many alumni in the Houston area and will always work to provide them with opportunities to come support us, but we felt this was the correct decision to make given the circumstances.”
Lamar, a member of the Southland Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), had their conference schedule postponed and were going to play a limited non-conference schedule. That plan has now changed.
“There is no doubt that everyone in our building is very disappointed with having to do this,” said LU Head Coach Blane Morgan. “There have been so many who have worked hard to get us in a position to get on the field and gain a since of normal life and routine for the student-athletes. With that being said, when you look at your team, the depth chart and where your guys are physically, decisions have to be made based on their safety. Although this was a tough decision, we believe it was the right one to make.”