HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii pulled out of the Hawaii Bowl on Thursday on the eve of the scheduled game against Memphis because of Covid-19, season-ending injuries and transfers.
“We are disappointed our season has to end this way,” coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.”
The game was scheduled for Friday at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision,” Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. “The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has forced us to not participate in the game. We are disappointed for our players, coaches, and fans. ESPN and the EasyPost Hawaii Bowl staff did everything they could for us and we appreciate their valiant effort throughout the week. We want to thank the Memphis Tigers for making the long trip to Hawaii. We are disappointed we can’t compete on the football field.”
Hawaii finished the season 6-8, getting into the bowl because there were no available 6-6 teams.
Rutgers University on Thursday accepted an invitation to play in the Gator Bowl after Texas A&M University was forced to withdraw because of injuries and Covid-19.