Boston College let its players decide if they would compete in a bowl game this season.
They opted against it, the ACC university in Chestnut Hill., Mass., announced Thursday in a press release that brought an end to the Eagles’ 2020 season.
"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," director of athletics Pat Kraft said in the release, which noted that the Boston College administration was in full support of the athletes’ decision.
The Eagles played a fairly typical schedule in a regular season that lasted less than three months due to the delayed start caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Boston College had no games postponed as canceled, playing every week since Sept. 19 with the exception of a built-in bye week on Nov. 21. Just one Eagle tested positive since beginning on-campus workouts in June.
"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,” Kraft said. “While the team has decided to conclude its season, we have the utmost respect for our ACC bowl partners and we look forward to participating in the postseason again in 2021."
The Eagles went 6-5, including 5-5 in the ACC, in a season that ended with Saturday’s 43-32 loss to Vriginia.
"I can't thank our players enough for the sacrifice and commitment they showed to each other, to our team and to our community," head coach Jeff Hafley said. "I am so proud to be their coach and I am thankful they now have the opportunity to go home for the first time since June to see their families. 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. 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."
While least 10 bowl games have already been canceled due to the coronavirus, Yahoo Sports reported that Boston College is the first team to officially opt out.
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“It’s a road game, basically,” Kraft told Yahoo Sports of a bowl game. “The players would have to be away from their families for the holidays and it’s uncertain if families could come to the game. It’s different than the true bowl game experience.
“We wanted to make sure what was the best decision for us and the health and well-being of our student-athletes and make a decision that would really reward the athletes.”
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