The University of Connecticut will honor its commitment to its college football players even after announcing the cancellation of their upcoming season because of concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
UConn Huskies football players will remain on scholarship throughout the upcoming school year and have access to team facilities, a university spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. The student-athletes can enroll in classes and will not lose a year of eligibility.
"After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," UConn director of athletics David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."
UConn was the first school in the NCAA’s top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision to cancel its 2020-21 season. Other universities have reported a spike in COVID-19 among players since on-campus workouts resumed on a limited basis earlier this summer.
The total cost of tuition, board and other fees is expected to exceed $53,000 for out-of-state undergraduates this fall, according to UConn’s website.
The Huskies were set to play as an independent during the upcoming season. The school’s status made scheduling difficult as a number of conferences adjusted their schedules to limit travel. Several scheduled opponents, including Ole Miss and the University of Maine, had already removed UConn from their slates.
“While the Huskies began spring practice on February 4 and were one of the only teams in the country to complete a full spring schedule, the opportunities to condition and train as a team have been limited in recent months,” the school said in a statement. “The team has been on campus since early July with zero student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont previously warned that the Huskies would be subject to the state's 14-day quarantine rule if they traveled for away games.