UTAH UTES

Utah Football Players Collectively Opt Out Of Any Postseason Involvement

Dec 18, 2020, 10:53 AM
Swoop - Utah Utes Football...
Utah Utes mascot Swoop and the team run onto the field before the start of an college football game against the San Jose State Spartans on September 16, 2017 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah football program will conclude its 2020 season this Saturday against the Washington State Cougars. The players have decided that they do not want to participate in a postseason game.

“Our number one priority is the well-being of our players, and we support the decision they have made,” Head Coach Kyle Whittingham said. “They have worked extremely hard since they returned to campus this summer, and they have shown tremendous resiliency in dealing with adversity and challenges. We’re proud of what they have accomplished on the field and the way they have handled everything off the field. We look forward to beginning our preparations for the 2021 season when the players return to campus in January.”

Over the last week, Whittingham has reiterated to members of the media that the decision to play in a postseason game will be left entirely up to the playing group. The stress and struggle in which the global pandemic has caused, has ultimately taken its toll on the Utah Football program.

The decision to conclude their season against Washington State ensures that the players will be able to spend the holiday season with their loved ones.

“We support our student-athletes in their decision and applaud them for the way they represent the University of Utah,” said Athletics Director Mark Harlan. “We have said from the beginning of this pandemic that everything is about the health and well-being of our student-athletes. They have done everything asked of them in following the strict protocols that were established to provide them the opportunity to play a football season this fall. We thank our incredible supporters and fans who have stood alongside us and our student-athletes throughout this unprecedented season.”

Currently, Utah holds a 2-2 record in 2020. The game against Washington State was expected to determine whether Utah became postseason eligible. However, the recent announcement nullifies any possibility of Utah playing in a bowl game regardless of the result against Washington State.

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