Boston College says it won’t be participating in a bowl game and will be the first bowl-eligible team to announce it won’t play in the postseason.
Sporting director Pat Kraft and coach Jeff Hafley said the decision was made as a team after receiving significant input from players. They pointed out everything the players had to do to survive a season during the coronavirus pandemic, including not being able to see friends and family after returning to campus in the summer. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that a bowl they would have been selected for would continue to run as planned.
Boston College has completed more than 9,000 COVID-19 tests since students returned to campus in late June. Only one soccer player tested positive in the last week of the regular season. Hafley said he found his team mentally and physically exhausted during training last week.
“In order for them to stay healthy and stay away from COVID, they lost more than anyone thought,” Hafley said on a Zoom call with reporters. “You are exhausted. Now if we look with other teams that continue to fight COVID, it will get worse and we will have to train for three weeks, keep staying healthy, keep staying away from our families and then not know.” Is the bowl game really going to take place? Will we miss Christmas with our families and then find out on the 25th that we really are not going to play?
“These kids want to play soccer, but 11 games, nine in a row, without their mom or dad being there to hug them or say hello after the game. The sanity of these kids is more important to me than anything else. We’ve decided that the greatest reward we can give these players is that they can finish the finals and spend quality time with their families. They deserve it and they deserve it. “
Boston College finishes its 6-5 season. The five ACC wins are the highest since 2009.
“The way we did this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic is how precious and important every game and every moment is,” said linebacker Max Richardson. “In June we didn’t know if we could play a game or not, so playing 11 is a bit of an end in itself.”