Fenway Park scheduled Wednesday's game to pit the Cavaliers and SMU. Because of positive COVID-19 test results at BC, the Military Bowl was cancelled at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland between Boston College and East Carolina.
Jeff Hafley, Eagles coach, stated that "this is not how we wanted it to end." We don't have enough players to play a safe game. My heart goes out for our seniors, who won't have the chance to wear a BC jersey one last time. I cannot thank them enough.
The Fenway Bowl was to bring college football to the historic home of the Boston Red Sox. However, the plans were thwarted twice by the pandemic. Bronco Mendenhall of Virginia was due to play in the final game. He resigned after the Cavaliers finished a 6-6 regular-season.
However, COVID-19 symptoms started to manifest in the days leading up to Christmas Day's team's departure. All members of the team were tested on Monday morning. Additional positive results were returned on Sunday.
"Playing in this game was something that our team looked forward to, and it is regrettable Coach Mendenhall won't have one more chance to coach this group," Virginia athletic director Carla Williams stated. We are grateful for all the hard work of our team and coaches. They were awarded the bowl invitation and will be unable to participate in the final game of the season.
This is the second consecutive year that bowl bids for Boston College or SMU have been ruined by the pandemic.
"I am disappointed for our fans and even more for our players that we will not be able to play in a Bowl game for the second consecutive season," Mustangs AD Rick Hart stated. We are however sympathetic to Virginia's circumstances, as we had to withdraw from the bowl last season because of COVID. We wish those affected a speedy recovery."
Because of the emotional toll that the pandemic season had caused, the BC players decided not to vote to attend a postseason match last year. The team finished 6-6 (from the Atlantic Coast Conference), to be eligible for bowl eligibility. They had already traveled to Washington, D.C., to play Monday's game.
Pat Kraft, the athletic director, said that more than 40 athletes were unavailable because of COVID-19, injuries and opt-outs.
He stated that "we don't have enough players to form a team." "We are disappointed that we were not able to finish this season as a team. However, the safety and health of our program is our top priority."
The Hawaii Bowl was cancelled earlier because Hawaii pulled out of its match against Memphis on Thursday, the day before. This was due to COVID-19, season ending injuries and transfers.
After the Aggies pulled their out due to a shortage of players, Rutgers will take over Texas A&M at the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest.