The UConn football team canceled its 2020 season Wednesday, becoming the first FBS school in the country to do so, due to concerns involving the coronavirus.
UConn has seen its schedule erode in recent weeks due to Power Five teams adopting a conference-only plan for their own schedules as they look to make a football season during a pandemic work. But concerns over possibly contracting and spreading coronavirus through close contact - not just on the field, but in locker rooms, travel, hotels, and more - prompted UConn to begin looking ahead to 2021.
“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,” 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.”
The football team members arrived on campus in early July as they prepared for their first season as an independent program, working out in small groups with plans to begin full practices Wednesday. While Benedict was still discussing the possibility of scheduling games in recent days, it appeared to be an uphill battle. Games against Indiana, Illinois, Ole Miss and Maine were already canceled, while games against North Carolina and Virginia appeared unlikely.