Hawai’i Bowl canceled due to COVID issues with Hawai’i football

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The Hawai’i Bowl was canceled Thursday due to a COVID-19 plagued Rainbow Warriors football program.

Hawai’i was supposed to play Memphis in the game, which was scheduled for Christmas Eve.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision,” Athletics Director David Matlin said. “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. … 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.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported the school’s football team had as many as 30 people around the program test in quarantine following positive test results for the coronavirus. That number includes several starters on offense, mostly the offensive line.

Coach Todd Graham weighed in with his feelings.

“We are disappointed our season has to end this way,” Graham said. “As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.”

“We are very disappointed to hear that Hawaii will be unable to participate in the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl on Friday,” Tigers coach Ryan Silverfield said in a statement. “We hope that Hawai’i players and staff get healthy soon. I’m upset for our seniors and the rest of the team that battled this season to earn this opportunity. We’ve had a terrific time here in Hawaii as a program and we are sad our trip ended this way.”