Graphics courtesy Sun Bowl Association

Miami pulls out of Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game due to COVID; Officials searching for replacement

Hours after Washington State arrived for this year’s Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, Miami Athletics announced that the Hurricanes would not be able to participate in this year’s bowl game.

Miami Athletics made the announcement Sunday that its football team will be unable to play against Washington State due to COVID-19 protocols.

Below is Miami’s complete statement:

“We are extremely disappointed that our football team will be unable to participate in the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl,” Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Strawley said. “But due to the number of COVID-19 cases impacting our roster we do not have enough student-athletes to safely compete, and the health and safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority. This team worked hard all season to earn a bowl invitation and my heart goes out to our student-athletes, especially our seniors. I also want to thank Interim Head Coach Jess Simpson and our football staff for all of their efforts in preparation for this bowl game.

“We regret the impact this has on the Washington State program and their postseason experience. I want to commend the Sun Bowl Association for their tireless work in helping us navigate this situation over the past several days. We are grateful for their support as an Atlantic Coast Conference bowl partner.”

For their part, Sun Bowl officials were looking for an opponent to take Miami’s place.  Sun Bowl executive Bernie Olivas released the following statement:

“It is very disappointing that COVID is taking a toll on so many college football teams and bowl games. As of this moment, the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl game has not been cancelled, although the University of Miami has withdrawn from the game. We are currently looking for a replacement team, in the hopes of having one to compete against Washington State in the 88th annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.”

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