COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KXAN) — Texas A&M will not play in the Gator Bowl against No. 17 Wake Forest after an outgoing outbreak of COVID-19 cases has left the team without enough available players. Texas A&M’s decision was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.
“It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team,” Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement.
Multiple reports surfaced Tuesday that the Aggies haven’t been able to practice in recent days due to the outbreak. The team has been holding meetings virtually.
Texas A&M Athletics Director Ross Bjork says Texas A&M has 38 scholarship position players available, according to Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com
This is the first bowl game of the 2021 season affected by COVID-19. Dellenger reports the Gator Bowl is trying to find a replacement team, but that would require another bowl game to be impacted by COVID-19.
The Gator Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 31 at 10 a.m. in Jacksonville.
Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reports Wake Forest is working with Gator Bowl and ACC officials to find an opponent for the New Year’s Eve game.
The NCAA’s most-recent COVID-19 protocols, released prior to the start of the college football season, required only unvaccinated team members to be tested regularly. However, if 5% of a team tests positive, symptomatic people and close contacts are tested.
If a player or staff member tests positive for the virus, they must quarantine for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.