COVID prompts Miami to withdraw from Sun Bowl vs. WSU

The University of Miami withdrew on Sunday from its scheduled Sun Bowl appearance against Washington State, citing a COVID-19 outbreak on the roster. 

The withdrawal prompted Washington State head coach Jake Dickert to offer to play “any opponent” in the game scheduled for Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas. Dickert, whose Cougars are already in El Paso, made the plea on Twitter. 

It wasn’t immediately clear who, if anyone, would be able to replace Miami as of Sunday evening. Washington State announced that it was working with the Pac-12 and the Sun Bowl Association to find an opponent. Dickert expressed his excitement for the game in a news conference from El Paso shortly before Miami announced its withdrawal. 

Miami had previously delayed travel to El Paso

Miami’s withdrawal wasn’t completely unexpected. The Hurricanes were scheduled to arrive in El Paso over the weekend, but delayed their planned trip to as late as Dec. 30 amid reports of at least 10 positive COVID-19 cases on the team on Friday. Sun Bowl commissioner 

“We’re not looking for anyone else to play but Miami,” folmer The people in El Paso are buying tickets because of Miami. People in El Paso follow Miami,” Folmer said.

WSU coach Jake Dickert pleaded for a Sun Bowl opponent after Miami’s wihtdrawal. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Miami’s statement

Miami athletic director Jennifer Strawley addressed Miami’s decision in a statement Sunday evening.

“We are extremely disappointed that our football team will be unable to participate in the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl,” Strawley said in a statement. “This team worked hard all season to earn a bowl invitation and my heart goes out to our student-athletes, especially our seniors. …

“We regret the impact this has on the Washington State program and their postseason experience.”

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