Boston College football team opts out of bowl game opportunity following pandemic-impacted season
(CNN) -- Boston College's football team will opt out of any opportunity to play in a bowl game, officials said Thursday, marking the latest change in this year's football season which was upended by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our student-athletes have sacrificed so much since June to even make this season possible for BC and our fans and now it is time for them to focus on finishing up the semester strong and going home to spend time with their families and loved ones," Pat Kraft, the school's athletic director, said in a statement announcing the news.
"Very few teams in the country handled playing in a pandemic better than our student-athletes have and I thank them for all of their hard work and sacrifice to make it through the season."
The Eagles finished the season with a 6-5 record overall and a 5-5 conference record in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Their last game was a 43-32 loss to the University of Virginia on December 5.
Boston College's decision comes after a college football season that has seen game postponements as well as many coaches and players testing positive for Covid-19. The season was initially in peril, but all the top-tier college football conferences decided to play by the end of September.
Since workouts began on Boston College's campus in June, only one player has tested positive for Covid-19, the school said. But the season still took a toll on the student athletes' mental and physical health.
"The young men in our program and our coaches and staff have been through an incredible six months and the restrictions placed on our student-athletes along with their adherence to strict Covid-19 policies and protocols took a mental and physical toll on them," head football coach Jeff Hafley said in a statement.
"People may not fully understand just how grueling this season was and our team needs and deserves an extended break to help recharge their minds and bodies."
Kraft said while the team has decided to conclude its season, it looks forward to participating in the postseason again in 2021.
ESPN Events said it will cancel two of its 17 postseason college football bowl games for the 2020 season. The Bahamas Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl, which were both set to be played in December, have been canceled due to the current health pandemic and travel restrictions.
"We are disappointed that we aren't able to stage events at these premier destinations this year," Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming & ESPN Events, said in a statement. "We are committed to bringing both games back in 2021, and we thank our conference partners, sponsors and the local communities for their ongoing support and understanding."
More details surrounding the bowl season are forthcoming.
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