UConn has canceled its 2020 college football season due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
UConn football is the first FBS school to cancel college football in 2020.
An independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference, UConn was coming off a rough 6-30 run in the last three seasons under Randy Edsall. Now it’s taking the year off after advising with the state’s health officials.
“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,” said athletic director David Benedict in his statement. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”
Cancelling the season makes practical sense, too.
UConn was having a hard time coming up with games with Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, Ole Miss and North Carolina all off the schedule with the Power Five programs keeping their slates in-house, and with the FCS season in question.
Instead of trying to shoehorn in games with little chance of generating much in the way of revenue – the lack of fans in the stands is a problem, and the TV revenue wouldn’t be great without the games against the Power Five teams – this makes fiscal as well as practical health sense.
In the end, the program appears to have felt it couldn’t safely pull off playing a season.
The Huskies went 2-10 last season and was about to embark on a true rebuilding season as an independent. Lots of transfers and lots of young players were going to be thrown into the mix in the transition out of the AAC, and it was still going to be a fight to come up with more than four wins had it played.
UConn hasn’t had a winning season since 2010.
Wins and losses don’t factor into the health aspect, but again, the lack of revenue with the concerns over having fans in the building, and with the lost paycheck from the Power Five teams were all part of the equation.
In the end, though, it came down to the health and safety of the players. UConn was the first major team to take the season off. It probably won’t be the last.