The Boise State Broncos announced on Monday that they are pulling out of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl because of COVID-19 issues.
The Broncos, who were scheduled to play the Central Michigan Chippewas on Friday, said in a statement the decision came after consulting with medical staff and campus and public health officials.
“We feel for the young men in our program who were very much looking forward to closing out their season, and for some, their football careers,” athletic director Jeramiah Dickey said in the statement posted to the team’s verified Twitter account.
In a series of tweets Monday, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy said Barstool was “actively looking for a replacement” for Boise State, then called on the Nebraska Cornhuskers to consider filling in.
Based on Twitter posts from both the verified Central Michigan football and Arizona Bowl accounts, the Chippewas had already landed in Tucson, Arizona, in preparation for the week ahead that was supposed to culminate in the game. The Sun Bowl, working with the Pac-12, was able to secure Central Michigan, which will now relocate its operation 315 miles east to El Paso. As a result, the Arizona Bowl has been canceled.
This becomes just the latest in a handful of bowl games that have either been cancelled, or are in danger of being cancelled because of the spread of COVID-19 cases across the country as the omicron variant continues to spike.
On Sunday alone, the Fenway Bowl (Virginia vs. SMU) and Military Bowl (Boston College vs. East Carolina) both announced that the respective games were being cancelled. The University of Miami also announced on Sunday that it would not be able to participate in the 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl against Washington State because of COVID-19 protocols.