The Western Illinois Leathernecks have opted out of the remainder of the spring 2021 football season, the school announced Monday.
“As we evaluated our current situation, in terms of the numbers of players available, and specifically at a few key positions, I believe it is in the best interest of our team to forego the remaining two games of the spring season,” said head coach Jared Elliott.
“I could not be prouder of how our guys have battled through unprecedented challenges due to COVID and lack of depth. This was not an easy decision, we enjoy every opportunity to compete, but I feel this is the right one for the health and safety of our players. We are excited and committed to putting a healthy and hungry Leatherneck football team on the field this fall.”
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is top priority, and while I fully support this decision, my heart aches for the program,” Director of Athletics Danielle Surprenant added. “Our student-athletes, coaches, and staff have done everything we’ve asked of them during this uncharacteristic time. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished this spring and look forward to returning to the field for the upcoming fall season.”
Western Illinois concludes its spring campaign with a 1-5 record. Scheduled games at Southern Illinois (Apr. 10) and South Dakota (Apr. 17) were canceled and will be catalogued as no contests.
The Leathernecks open their fall 2021 campaign with a Sept. 2 contest at Ball State.