Nov 28, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker Sav'ell Smalls (17) and linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui (58) sack Utah Utes quarterback Jake Bentley (8) during the fourth quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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Pac-12 programs Utah, Washington skipping bowl season

Pac-12 programs Utah and Washington each announced Friday that it will not pursue opportunities to play in bowl games.

Washington cited medical reasons for its decision. The Huskies (3-1) had to pull out of Friday night’s Pac-12 title game due to being unable to field the required 53 scholarship players dues to COVID-19 issues within the program.

Utah (2-2) will conclude its season Saturday against Washington State. The school said the well-being of the players was the driving factor in its decision.

The Utes were unable to start their season until Nov. 21 due to COVID-19 issues.

“Our No. 1 priority is the well-being of our players, and we support the decision they have made,” Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “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.”

Washington coach Jimmy Lake said earlier this week that the team’s entire offensive line was unavailable this week.

“Our guys have given up so much this season,” Lake said in a statement on Friday. “I would like to thank them for how they have handled everything. I would also like to give special recognition to our seniors who poured so much into this program, we are so proud of them for everything they have accomplished on and off the field.”

Oregon replaced Washington as the opponent against Southern California in the Pac-12 title games.

Fellow Pac-12 programs Stanford, UCLA and Washington State previously announced they wouldn’t play in bowl games.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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