The Hawai'i Bowl was canceled after The University of Hawai'i announced Thursday the Rainbow Warriors would not play, citing COVID-19 issues.
The game was set to kick off Friday in Honolulu, according to a report.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision," said Hawai'i athletic director David Matlin 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."
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Matlin also thanked the University of Memphis, Hawai'i's opponent, for their long journey.
"We are disappointed we can't compete on the football field," he said.
Ryan Silverfield, the head coach of the Memphis Tigers, said he was disappointed in the game's cancellation but said he wished a speedy recovery to all the Hawai'i players.
"I'm upset for our seniors and the rest of the team that battled this season to earn this opportunity," he said. "We've had [a] terrific time here in Hawai'i as a program, and we are sad our trip ended this way."
ESPN issued a statement thanking Memphis for its participation and understanding.
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"While we are disappointed that the bowl will not be played despite considerable efforts from our many stakeholders, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this game a reality," the statement read. "We thank the University of Memphis program and its fans for making the long trip, and we hope they were able to enjoy the unique experience that this event offers in the Aloha state."
Original Location: Rainbow Warriors pull out of Hawai'i Bowl
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