The UConn Huskies have announced the cancellation of their 2020 football season due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” UConn director of athletics David Benedict said. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”
Due to decisions by other conferences, UConn’s games against Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Ole Miss had already been canceled. Additionally, the Huskies’ two games against ACC opponents, North Carolina and Virginia, were in limbo due to that conference deciding to play only one non-conference game in the home state of the ACC team.
Those moves left UConn with only six games on their schedule with possibly more set for cancellations later on. Rather than attempt to piece together another schedule, the Huskies decided to pull the plug.
The 2020 season would have been the first for UConn as a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Independent. As an Independent, the Huskies are tasked with scheduling all 12 contests per season without the aid of a conference slate.
“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” UConn football head coach Randy Edsall said. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”
“As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020,” UConn’s student-athletes stated. “We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”
UConn is slated to open the 2021 season in Week Zero on Saturday, Aug. 28 with a road game at the Fresno State Bulldogs.