ESPN reported Thursday evening the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl has been canceled after host team Hawai’i announced Thursday night it was withdrawing due to COVID-19 concerns — in addition to injuries.
The Rainbow Warriors were scheduled to play the University of Memphis in Honolulu on Christmas Eve.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision,” 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 Hawai’i 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 Hawai’i. We are disappointed we can’t compete on the football field.”
Hawai’i is the second team to withdraw from a bowl game amid a COVID outbreak. Texas A&M pulled out of the Gator Bowl earlier this week because they have a COVID-depleted roster. The timing of the Aggies’ cancelation allowed for the oversight committee to find a replacement, tabbing Rutgers to fill the spot to face Wake Forest in Florida on December 31.
With Hawai’i having to cancel so soon, the entire Hawai’i Bowl game has to be scrapped.
ESPN released a statement regarding the cancelation: