UConn Will Not Play 2020 Football Season

The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday that it is suspending its football program through the 2020 season due to coronavirus, ESPN reports.

What We Know:

  • The Huskies were scheduled to play as an independent this season, leaving the American Athletic Conference where they went 2-10 last season. Their decision marks them as the first FBS program to opt out of the 2020 season as coronavirus fears continue to grow.
  • “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 athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”
  • Members of the football team will still remain enrolled in classes virtually or in person and will have access to facilities. The university has also stated that no student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since early July.
  • “The necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team,” Benedict continued. “Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”
  • Members of the team, who were consulted by head coach Randy Edsall before the university’s decision, stated that they are in full support and “have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season.”
  • UConn’s decision could also have financial undertones as the school’s football program only generates about $2.4 million in ticket sales a year. Already strapped for cash, the program may not be able to justify the cost of a season with potentially little to no fans.

UConn will be joining the Big East Conference for all sports except football and said it will wait to hear more from the conference before making any decisions on other fall sports.