We’ve already seen a couple of NFL games postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks, as the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins, and LA Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks were forced to play last night as makeup games.
The NHL is also on pause after a number of COVID outbreaks left teams short-staffed, and to make matters worse they NHL officially backed out of the Winter Olympics too. The EPL, NBA… it’s everywhere.
And now, it appears that COVID is officially starting to affect the college football world as well.
According to ESPN, Texas A&M is having to back out of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Wake Forest, due to a number of season ending injuries and COVID issues.
Star running back Isaiah Spiller and tight end Jalen Wydermyer both declared for the NFL Draft, and former starting quarterback Zach Calzada entered the transfer portal as well.
They simply do not have enough bodies to play the game.
Because of a COVID outbreak, Texas A&M is unable to play in the Gator Bowl, sources tell @SINow. Aggies don’t have enough available players.
Gator is searching for a replacement bowl team, sources say, but the only way that's possible is if another bowl is impacted.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher spoke about the disappointing news:
“It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team.”
Wake Forest still wants to play the game that is slated for Friday, December 31st, and the Gator Bowl is working with the NCAA to find some sort of replacement.
Gator Bowl chairman John Duce said in a statement:
“We are disappointed that Texas A&M University and the Aggie fans will be unable to represent the Southeastern Conference in Jacksonville at this year’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
However, the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches and staff remains our primary concern.”
The Aggies will not receive the $5.3 million dollar payout that comes with playing the bowl game.
Texas A&M athletic director also weighed in on the situation:
“It is heartbreaking for our players, coaches, staff, and fans that we are not able to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Post-season football is the pinnacle of the season and when the opportunity is lost, it hurts on so many levels.
As we have learned in the last 21 months of this health challenge, the well-being and safety of our student-athletes is paramount. Our players poured their heart and soul into this season and we appreciate their dedication as Aggies.
Aggie football is on track for long-term success and we know that the best is yet to come.”
Breaking: Texas A&M will not participate in the Gator Bowl because of COVID-19 issues within the program, leaving Wake Forest without an opponent as officials try to find a replacement team, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.