Mizzou’s 2020 season is officially over. The program announced Sunday that it is unable to compete in the Music City Bowl, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 30, due to an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among its student-athletes, coaches and staff following Mizzou Football’s final regular-season game against Mississippi State.

“Since concluding our regular season and conducting four rounds of tests over the last eight days, we have seen a significant increase in positive COVID-19 tests among our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and after consulting with local health officials, our team physicians and MU Health’s Dr. Steve Whitt, who is our representative on the SEC Medical Task Force, we unfortunately must pause all football team-related activities until at least January 2 to help contain the virus’ spread and ensure the health and well-being of everyone within our program and the community,” athletic director Jim Sterk said.

“Our student-athletes have been extremely diligent in following all of the SEC’s COVID-19 testing protocols since returning to campus back in the summer, and we are incredibly proud of their efforts to play every regular-season game this fall, as well as the success they have had on the field against a 10-game all-SEC schedule that included five games against nationally-ranked opponents, and in the classroom during the fall semester,” he added. “However, this eight-day uptick within our program is significant and has made it impossible for us to play in the bowl game, which I know comes as a disappointment to our student-athletes, coaches and fans, who were excited about the opportunity to play a great Iowa team in Nashville.”

“Our football student-athletes, the coaches and intercollegiate athletics staff have done an outstanding job representing the University of Missouri on and off the field this year,” added university president Mun Choi. “All of us have been proud of them and what they have accomplished this season. This is, of course, disappointing news, but we look forward to cheering on the team taking the field next fall and representing the University of Missouri with true Tiger spirit.”

Mizzou has paused all football activities until Jan. 2.

“I am disappointed that we were not able to finish the season against a tremendous opponent in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl later this week,” coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “I am extremely proud of the fight and resiliency that our players have shown throughout this challenging season. This is the eighth time in 11 games we’ve been faced with a schedule adjustment, but we’ve been able to fight through and finish while competing at a very high level throughout the season, which I believe shows the true character of our team. We look forward to returning to Nashville to play in a future TransPerfect Music City Bowl, and experiencing all that this great bowl game offers.”