Miami “Fully Committed” to Playing in Sun Bowl Amid COVID-19 Issues
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Harley (3) and Miami Hurricanes teammates.
While the Gator Bowl scrambled for a last-minute replacement team, that will not be the case for the Sun Bowl as Miami remains “fully committed” to playing in the Sun Bowl and has adjusted its travel schedule to make the trip to El Paso, a Sun Bowl spokesperson told The Action Network.
Even though Miami’s football program has several players with COVID-19 issues, the Hurricanes will play in the Sun Bowl but won’t arrive in El Paso until the day before the Dec. 31 kickoff vs. Washington State.
With Texas A&M withdrawing from the Gator Bowl because of COVID/injury issues on Wednesday, there was some concern Miami might do the same with the Sun Bowl after the Hurricanes announced Tuesday they were in COVID-19 protocols.
Both teams were originally scheduled to arrive on Dec. 26, but the Hurricanes have delayed their arrival until Dec. 30, a Sun Bowl spokesperson said.
The late arrival may cause some inconvenience for scheduled bowl activities, but it’s better than the alternative. Texas A&M’s withdrawal from the Gator Bowl caused some last-minute maneuvering to get a replacement team to play Wake Forest.
Last year, 18 bowl games were canceled because of COVID-19 and bowls were so desperate for teams that BYU and some Sun Belt teams were asked to play in two bowls last season, sources said.
With Miami’s situation in flux just a few days ago, some officials behind the scenes were wondering if Miami couldn’t play then if Wake Forest and Washington State would be paired up in the last minute in either the Sun Bowl or Gator Bowl.
Earlier this week, Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas was optimistic the Hurricanes would be in El Paso.
“They’re planning on being here,” Olivas said. “We’re planning on them being here. They may not get here until a little later than planned. But that’s fine. I just thought all this was over.”
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