The University of Connecticut won’t be playing football this season.
The school’s director of athletics David Benedict made the announcement of the school’s plans in a statement on Wednesday morning. It is the first FBS school to call off its season.
UConn was set to play this season as an independent and had already seen games against Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi scrubbed from their schedule as many schools moved to conference-only opponents.
“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,” Benedict said. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk. . . . “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. Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”
The team’s players issued a statement as well. It said they are “in full support of the decision to not compete” after dealing with the challenges of trying to prepare for the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.