With Teams Short of Players, 2 Bowl Games Are Called Off

3 games have been called off so far because of COVID outbreaks
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2021 3:00 PM CST
With Teams Short of Players, 2 Bowl Games Are Called Off
Michael Hayes kicks off for Georgia State during the first half of the Camellia Bowl on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala.   (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Two more college football bowl games were called off Sunday because of a shortage of players, caused by injuries and COVID-19 outbreaks. Boston College withdrew from the Military Bowl, which had been scheduled for Monday in Annapolis, Maryland, USA Today reports. Positive tests had increased since the team arrived for the game, and the school's athletic director said the Eagles did not have enough players to take on East Carolina. Injuries, transfers, and opt-outs contributed, he said. “We just do not have enough players to safely play a game," coach Jeff Hafley said. "My heart goes out to our seniors who will not have one final opportunity to wear a BC jersey."

An outbreak at Virginia forced the cancellation of the Fenway Bowl in Boston, where the Cavaliers were to play Southern Methodist. Players were showing COVID symptoms by Saturday, the team's travel day, so the whole roster was tested. The tests came back positive Sunday, per the AP. SMU was understanding, "having had to withdraw from our bowl last season due to COVID," said Athletic Director Rick Hart.

After two false starts because of COVID, the Fenway Bowl, planned for the storied Red Sox stadium, has yet to be played. The Hawaii Bowl was canceled last week, per CBS Sports, when Hawaii dropped out of its matchup against Memphis scheduled for Friday. Also, COVID cases led Texas A&M to drop out of the Gator Bowl and was replaced by Rutgers. Last season, COVID issues forced the cancellation of 18 bowl games. "This is painful to digest," East Carolina coach Mike Houston said. (More COVID-19 stories.)

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