ESPN cancels bowl game after South Carolina is unable to play
South Carolina was set to play in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa despite a 2-8 mark, but COVID-19 issues within the Gamecocks football program meant that the team was forced to withdraw from the game against UAB.
ESPN owns and operates the game and was tasked with finding an alternate opponent for the Blazers with the Gamecocks ruled out. However, it decided to cancel the game altogether, it announced on Tuesday.
“We looked into a number of options for UAB, but ultimately could not identify any opportunities for them to play at this time,” Gasparilla Bowl executive director Scott Glaser said in a statement. “We are appreciative of the many supporters in the community, including our new title sponsor – Union Home Mortgage, and look forward to staging the game in 2021.”
The Blazers are 6-3 on the season. Their last game was on Dec. 18 in the Conference USA Championship Game, when they defeated Marshall 22-13 for their 2nd league crown in 3 seasons.
Since returning from a 2-season hiatus, UAB is 34-16, including a 22-6 mark in C-USA. It has finished either alone in 1st or tied for 1st in the C-USA West Division each of the past 3 seasons.