Growing number of college football bowl games called off due to COVID-19

Boston College and the University of Virginia are the latest teams to pull out of college football bowl games

Several college football bowl games have been canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases and the increase of the Omicron variant throughout the U.S.

On Monday (Dec. 27), two more universities pulled out of bowl games: Boston College and the University of Virginia.

According to officials, the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, with Boston College vs. East Carolina University, will not be played due to rising COVID-19 numbers. The Military Bowl Parade and the Military Bowl Tailgate Festival also are off.

“Unfortunately, due to cases of Covid-19 rising within our program since our arrival, along with season-ending injuries, opt-outs and transfers, we just do not have enough players to field a team,” Boston College director of athletics Pat Kraft said in a statement. “We are disappointed not to be able to finish the season together as a team, but the health and safety of our program is our highest priority.”

The first-ever Fenway Bowl in Boston between the University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University has also been called off. The University of Virginia team had to pull out of their appearance due to growing COVID-19 cases.

“We appreciate all of the hard work by our team and coaching staff,” Virginia athletics director Carla Williams said in a statement. “They earned this bowl invitation, and it is unfortunate they will not be able to compete in the game to complete the season. We regret how this also impacts our fans who were planning on attending the game as well as the SMU program and its fans.”

Meanwhile, the Sun Bowl, which was set to feature the Miami Hurricanes against the Washington State Cougars, is looking for a new team to join the bowl following the University of Miami pulling out due to Covid-19 protocols. In a statement, Washington State said they’re working with the Pac-12 conference and the Sun Bowl Association to find a replacement. They don’t have much time, though, as the Sun Bowl is set for Friday (Dec. 31) in El Paso, Texas.

The Hawaii Bowl set for Christmas Eve was called off, after the University of Hawaii withdrew due to Covid-19 issues. Hawaii was supposed to go up against the University of Memphis.

Texas A&M University also announced it would not be able to play in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest University on New Year’s Eve. Rutgers University will take Texas A&M’s spot in the game.

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