The 2020 Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl has been canceled, ESPN Events announced on Tuesday.
The Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl was scheduled to be the first bowl game of the 2020 season on Saturday, Dec. 19. The game was set to feature the SMU Mustangs against the UTSA Roadrunners.
“While we are disappointed in having to cancel the game, our top priority is the health and safety of all parties involved,” said Clint Overby, vice president of ESPN Events. “We wish SMU, their student-athletes, coaches and administrators well during this time.”
SMU had to back out of the game due to “…a number of positive cases of COVID-19 involving student-athletes and staff members, and a number of football student-athletes were identified as close contacts via the contact tracing process.”
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, many student-athletes across the country have had the unfortunate experience of missing out on opportunities to compete in any number of athletic events, with many missing out on entire seasons,” said SMU A.D. Rick Hart. “Our team deserved to play another game. I’m disappointed for our fans, and even more disappointed for our players, that we will be unable to play in a bowl game this season. I’m also sad that many of our seniors played their final collegiate games, not knowing at the time that that was their last time on the field. I want to applaud our team for their efforts this season and to acknowledge the personal sacrifices they all made to make this season possible.
“As has been the case all season, our focus is the health, safety and well-being of our team and staff. Student-athletes will be able to quarantine for the next seven days here in Dallas and we will test them at least twice during that time frame to provide them confidence that they are going home to enjoy the holidays with their families in a safe and healthy manner.”
With the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl canceled, the UTSA Roadrunners (7-4, 5-2 C-USA) will now play in the SERVPRO First Responders Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. The game will be televised by ABC at 3:30pm ET.
“We are very grateful to ESPN Events, the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl and Conference USA for coordinating another bowl game opportunity for us on short notice,” UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos said. “We’re very excited that Coach Traylor, his staff and our student-athletes will get to represent our wonderful university and city on national television. I also want to thank the Frisco Bowl staff for all of their hard work in planning for that game in a very short timeframe. We hope we will get to experience one of their bowl games in the future.”