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Virginia football will decline postseason play

Long, strange trip of 2020 comes to a close

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The disappointing taste of Saturday’s 33-15 loss to rivals Virginia Tech won’t be washed away by a bowl game, as the Virginia Cavaliers announced Sunday that the program would decline any bowl bids and conclude its 2020 season.

The decision was reached after discussion amongst the team’s student leaders. “I told our team I valued their feedback and I wanted this to be their decision,” head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “Just as we met at the beginning of the year to make the choice to play, this was their choice to end the season at this time. I think it is appropriate for this team.”

Athletics director Carla Williams voiced her support for the decision as well. “Unless you live it each and every day, it is impossible to understand the mental, emotional and physical sacrifice these young men have made since their return in July,” Williams said. “I am proud of their commitment and their incredible maturity. Our students did everything we asked them to do and they were rewarded with the opportunity to compete in the sport they love when many doubted it could be done. The life lessons gained over the last nine months will serve them well.”

The players and coaches have been under strict protocols since mid-summer to attempt a full 2020 season. UVA became one of only 17 teams to play 10 games without a postponement or cancellation due to COVID issues within its program.

Ending the season now will allow players to return home and spend the holidays with their families after nearly six months of distance and separation.