It seemed as though sports organizations had COVID-19 under control after a rough 2020. However, that is no longer the case. COVID-19 protocols have forced the cancellation of over five college football bowls, as well as the shuffling of teams in two others. Barstool Sports, which spent millions this past summer to become the sponsor of the Arizona Bowl, won’t see its name in the game. The cancellation of games at both the college and pro levels is going to impact the action available to sports bettors everywhere.
College Bowls Off the Table
Boise State Athletics announced Monday it had halted all football team activities because of COVID-19 protocols. The Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, scheduled for this Friday in Tucson, AZ, has been canceled after initially hoping to continue with different teams. Boise State made its decision after consulting with its medical staff and campus officials.
The Sun Bowl will see the Central Michigan Chippewas play against the Washington State Cougars. The Central Michigan Hurricanes withdrew over COVID-19, giving the Cougars the chance to step in. The Sun Bowl will take place in El Paso, TX, on Friday.
Monday’s Military Bowl between Boston College and East Carolina University in Annapolis, Maryland, was canceled due to insufficient players at Boston College, according to Director of Athletics Pat Kraft.
Five bowl games were affected by COVID-19 cases in the US over the past week. A recent increase in positive cases has also hindered pro sports and slowed holiday travel, which has also taken a hit from bad weather.
Wednesday’s Fenway Bowl between Southern Methodist University and the University of Virginia was also canceled. According to the school, Virginia’s COVID-19 cases prevented it from participating in the Fenway Bowl.
The Hawaii Bowl, which was scheduled to take place on Christmas Eve, was canceled by the University of Hawaii, as well. Hawaii was to face off against the University of Memphis.
Texas A&M University said last Wednesday that it will not be able to participate in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest University on January 31. Organizers have announced that Rutgers University will take over for Texas A&M in the game.
Other US Sports Taking Hits, As Well
The NHL had already decided to take a break from its current season because of a resurgence of COVID-19 issues. The games were to start up again as of yesterday, but that isn’t happening for everyone. One game, between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks, was postponed until January 11.
The NFL has had to postpone several games as it scrambles to overcome a spike that has seen over 140 players and team members test positive. The league previously stated, as the season was getting underway, that games would be canceled if a team’s players contracted COVID-19; however, it was forced to back down after pressure from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).
The NBA currently doesn’t have any plans to slow its season down. After it was forced to hold its postseason action in a bubble last year that saw it lose millions of dollars, the league doesn’t want a repeat.
NCAA basketball has already seen several games canceled, as well. March Madness, one of the largest sports betting events in the US, wasn’t held in 2020 because of COVID-19 but returned this year. However, at the rate things are going now, the 2022 March Madness might not happen.