Sun Belt Conference Championship Game Canceled
The #17 Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun football team boarded a chartered flight today for Conway, South Carolina, preparing to compete for a Sun Belt Conference Championship against #9 Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
A few hours after arriving at 5:00 eastern time, they learned they would not be playing the contest, as the Sun Belt announced the game was canceled.
One member on the Coastal Carolina program tested positive for COVID-19, and due to contact tracing, an entire positional group is unavailable to play, thus leading to the cancelation.
“We are very disappointed that the championship game cannot be played, but we are so proud of all of the players and staff members and their hard work during this truly challenging season," said Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill said in a statement. "We will honor both teams as 2020 Sun Belt Conference Co-Champions."
The news is extremely disappointing for Louisiana, whose only loss this season was versus the Chanticleers, who had an opportunity to win an outright Sun Belt title, and had an outside chance entering the weekend to be the Group of 5 representative in a New Year's Six Bowl.
“We are severely disappointed for our student-athletes and staff to not have the opportunity to play in what would have been a truly exciting championship game for the Sun Belt Conference,” said Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard. “For our football program, fans and alumni, we look forward to learning of our bowl destination this weekend.”
The unfortunate circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused the cancelation, but the disappointment for all involved doesn't sting any less.