The UMass Minutemen have announced the cancellation of their 2020 football season due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“After consulting with university, state and public health officials, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 UMass football season,” said UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford. “We have been in constant communication with university leadership and our football staff since March, with the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff remaining our top priority. The continuing challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic posed too great of a risk, and we reached the conclusion that attempting to play a season would not have placed the members of our program in the safest situation possible.”
Due to decisions by other conferences and teams, UMass’ games against UConn, UAlbany, New Mexico, Auburn, and Akron had already been canceled. Their seven remaining games are now also canceled — vs. Troy, at Appalachian State, vs. Temple, vs. FIU, vs. New Mexico State, vs. Army, and at Liberty.
“I am absolutely heartbroken for our players, our former players, our alumni and our UMass Football community,” said UMass football head coach Walt Bell. “Our job as coaches and mentors is to provide opportunities for our players, and do everything in our power to not take them away. Today’s news was devastating, but we will be resilient and prepared to be our best when our best is required.
UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said the Minutemen are looking forward to playing their fall sports in the spring.
“These times have presented us with extensive uncertainty, and we are disappointed for all the members of our fall sports programs who will not have the opportunity to compete this autumn,” Bamford said. “We remain hopeful and fully intend to conduct a competitive schedule for our fall sports in the 2021 spring semester.”
UMass is slated to open the 2021 season on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a road game at the Pitt Panthers.