The Monmouth Hawks have canceled their 2020 football season due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the school announced on Monday.
Monmouth competes in the Big South Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Hawks won the Big South championship last season after finishing 6-0 in conference play.
“It is my top priority, as the President of Monmouth University, to do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of our student body, especially during this global public health crisis,” said Monmouth President Dr. Patrick F. Leahy. “The decision to cancel fall sports was not made easily, and it was discussed many times over the last few weeks and months. My heart breaks for our student-athletes, their coaches, and their families. We will do everything possible to replace these lost competitive opportunities in the spring, if possible.”
Monmouth was scheduled to open the 2020 season on the road against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but that contest was canceled when the Big Ten decided to play a conference-only schedule in 2020.
Several other opponents on Monmouth’s 2020 football schedule previously had their seasons canceled either due to conference mandates or individual school decisions. Those opponents include UAlbany, Maine, Fordham, and Hampton.
Remaining games affected by Monmouth’s announcement today include Wagner, Campbell, Charleston Southern and Kennesaw State at home and North Alabama, and Gardner-Webb on the road.
“While I am extremely saddened by this decision, it was the right one,” said Monmouth Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil. “The health and welfare of our student-athletes, their families, our coaches and our fans has to guide all decisions made in regards to competing in intercollegiate athletics. I am committed to continuing the conversation about giving our athletes the opportunity to compete as soon as it is safe to do so.”