As sports fans wait to see what will happen to college football this fall, one domino has fallen.
The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday morning that it has canceled its 2020 football season due to risks associated with COVID-19, making it the first Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school to do so.
"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," director of athletics David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."
This was set to be UConn's first season as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference. The rest of the Huskies' athletic department has moved to the Big East, a non-football conference.
UConn had already had several games canceled due to travel concerns, with the possibility of more to come as more conferences explore the possibility of playing conference-only schedules.
The athletic department made the decision to cancel the season in consultation with head coach Randy Edsall and Huskies players.
"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," 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."
The team's student-athletes also released a joint statement supporting the decision:
"As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020. We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome."