The 2021 Military Bowl and Fenway Bowl have each been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, it was announced on Sunday.
Per the announcement, the Boston College Eagles had over 40 players unavailable to play in the Military Bowl due to COVID-19 issues. The Eagles were slated to face the East Carolina Pirates on Monday, Dec. 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
“Unfortunately, due to cases of COVID-19 rising within our program since our arrival, along with season-ending injuries, opt outs and transfers, we just do not have enough players to field a team,” said Boston College Director of Athletics Pat Kraft. “We are disappointed not to be able to finish the season together as a team, but the health and safety of our program is our highest priority. Steve Beck and his Military Bowl staff put on a great week for our team and we are thankful for everything they did to make us feel at home during our stay in Washington, D.C.”
Last seasons Military Bowl was also canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not the way we wanted to see this season come to an end,” said Boston College head football coach Jeff Hafley. “We just do not have enough players to safely play a game. My heart goes out to our seniors who will not have one final opportunity to wear a BC jersey and I can’t thank them enough for all the contributions they made to our program.”
Boston College finishes the 2021 season 6-6 overall and 2-6 in ACC action, while SMU finished 8-4 overall and 4-4 in American Athletic Conference play.
The Wasabi Fenway Bowl between SMU and Virginia on Wednesday, Dec. 29 has also been canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
“We are extremely disappointed the team will not be able to participate in the inaugural Fenway Bowl,” said Virginia athletics director Carla Williams. “Playing this game was something our team very much looked forward to and it is unfortunate Coach Mendenhall will not have one last opportunity to coach this group.”
In the days leading up to the team’s planned departure date (Dec. 25), some UVA players displayed symptoms associated with COVID-19 and subsequently tested positive for the virus. As a result, the entire team was tested Christmas morning. The completed test results, provided to Virginia athletics on Sunday morning (Dec. 26), revealed additional positive tests that prevent the team from safely participating in the game.
The 2021 Fenway Bowl was set to be the inaugural edition of the game at Fenway Park in Boston. Also due to COVID-19, the game was not played last season.
The Military Bowl and Fenway Bowl are the second and third bowl games canceled this season following the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl on Christmas Eve.