Due to COVID-19 outbreaks, both the Fenway Bowl between Virginia and SMU and the Military Bowl between Boston College and East Carolina have been cancelled.
Over 40 Boston College players were unable to play in Monday’s Military Bowl against East Carolina. Virginia’s players tested positive for COVID-19, preventing the team from travelling to the Wasabi Fenway Bowl against SMU on Wednesday.
Boston College declared in a statement that due to coronavirus concerns, season-ending injuries, opt-outs, and transfers, it did not have enough players to field a team.
Last season, Boston College finished the season with only one positive COVID-19 case, but turned down the chance to play in a bowl game due to the toll the season had had on everyone.
Although BC’s whole team and staff were vaccinated before the season, the extremely contagious omicron strain has caused outbreaks across the country.
Since Wednesday, the Eagles have been preparing for the bowl game in the Washington, D.C. region.
In a statement, Boston College coach Jeff Hafley said, “This is not the way we wanted to see this season come to an end.” “We just do not have enough players to safely play a game. My heart goes out to our seniors who will not have one final opportunity to wear a BC jersey and I can’t thank them enough for all the contributions they made to our program.”
In a statement, Virginia revealed that multiple players tested positive in the days leading up to the team’s scheduled departure for the Fenway Bowl on Saturday.
As a result, the entire team was tested on Christmas morning, and the findings revealed more positive tests on Sunday, preventing the team from safely playing in the game. Virginia was almost completely vaccinated before the season started, with a few exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
Virginia’s final game under coach Bronco Mendenhall, who announced his resignation earlier this month, would have been this one.
“We are extremely disappointed the team will not be able to participate in the inaugural Fenway Bowl,” Virginia athletic director Carla Williams said in a statement. “Playing this game was something our team very much looked forward to and it is unfortunate Coach Mendenhall will not have one last opportunity to coach this group.”
The executive director of bowl season, Nick Carparelli, tweeted on Sunday that college football’s COVID-19 protocols, which were designed last year, have been updated “are outdated and need to be adjusted immediately! We are causing more problems than there need to be .”
After deleting the post, Carparelli told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg: “Health and safety will always be the most important concern. However, I think the frustrating part is while the virus has evolved and weakened, the protocols in college athletics have not changed. There are other sports organizations, most notably the NFL, that have evolved and are functioning just fine.”
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