Texas A&M withdraws from 2021 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl due to COVID issues

By Brian Wilmer -

The Texas A&M Aggies will not participate in the 2021 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl due to COVID-19 related issues, the school announced Wednesday.

“It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team,” Aggie head football coach Jimbo Fisher said.

“It is heartbreaking for our players, coaches, staff and fans that we are not able to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said. “Post-season football is the pinnacle of the season and when the opportunity is lost, it hurts on many levels. As we have learned in the last 21 months of this health challenge, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes is paramount. Our players poured their heart and soul into this season and we appreciate their dedication as Aggies. Aggie football is on track for long-term success and we know that the best is yet to come.”

No decision has been made on the possibility of another opponent for Wake Forest in the game. Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported Wednesday that the option of getting a team that has already participated in a bowl game to battle the Demon Deacons is one of the possibilities being discussed.

For its part, Wake reported Wednesday that it is exploring all options.

“While we are disappointed that we do not have the opportunity to play a talented Texas A&M football team next week in Jacksonville, our student-athletes and staff are still extremely excited and want to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl next week,” Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson said. “From the Atlantic Division Championship to winning 10 games for the second time in program history with a program-record 15 student-athletes earning All-ACC honors, our student-athletes and staff achieved our team goal of going from ‘Good to Great.’ The hard work and dedication of our players and staff all season long elevated our brand of Wake Forest University and I am extremely proud of all we accomplished on and off the field during the fall semester. Our student-athletes, specifically our seniors, deserve this last opportunity to compete as a team for the chance to win a championship.”

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Comments (7)

Getting COVID?

I suppose. If you were talking about playing, A&M was down to 12 healthy scholarship players on defense. What would you have done, bright guy? Dressing students from the student body? Playing sick players?

Total BS. These are healthy young men with no or very mild symptoms and poses no threat to them. Game is still 10 days away and everyone would be fine. Playing Wake is beneath A&M and they surely would hate to lose so they quit, plain and simple. Black eye to a once proud program.

Total BS. These are young healthy men who will have no symptoms or mild symptoms for a couple of days at most. Just because they test positive is no excuse to quit, Fine example A&M. Yes playing Wake is beneath you but you should be ashamed.

Anyone that test positive will be well in a couple of days. These are healthy young in no danger, will have no or mild symptoms. Game is still 10 days away. We know playing Wake is beneath A&M but this is a bad look. You should be ashamed.

The other problem is that there are too many bowl games. 5-7 Rutgers shouldn’t be allowed to play in a bowl game. I say the power 5 conferences have their New Year’s 6 tie-in plus 1 New Years Day Bowl and 2 additional bowls. This would mean 5-6 bowl eligible teams for Power 5 leagues. Group of 5 leagues can be affiliated with 2 bowls. If this was done and we got rid of multiple bowls in the same metro area (Dallas, LA, Orlando, Miami, Tampa etc) and paid players for being in the game, then bowls would mean something to the players. Going to the Gator Bowl is more of a nuisance than an honor to Texas A&M. If 7-5 and 8-4 teams didn’t make bowls when they got to make it at 9-3 or better everyone would play and the games won’t just be filler for ESPN during December of guessing which team has the least opt outs.

Don’t watch?

I enjoy all of the bowl game but mainly the smaller ones. I like seeing MAC/Sun Belt games.

Should I not be able to enjoy those games?