The University of Connecticut has canceled competition for its football program for this fall because of COVID-19 concerns.
"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 on Wednesday, Aug. 5. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."
Members of the team will remain enrolled in classes, either virtually or in-person, as full-time students at UConn.
The team members will also retain access to facilities and support services in accordance with NCAA rules, ensuring that student-athletes remain on track academically and developmentally.
"We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being," Head Coach Randy Edsall said. "Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season."
While the Huskies began spring practice on Feb. 4 and were one of the only teams in the country to complete a full spring schedule, the opportunities to condition and train as a team have been limited in recent months, the athlete department said.
The team has been on campus since early July with no student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19.
"The necessary measures needed to mitigate the risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team," Benedict said. "Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season."
Games against Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi have already been taken off the schedule by those schools' respective conferences and uncertainty surrounded the contests against North Carolina and Virginia, UConn's athletic department said.
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