WASHINGTON – The Military Bowl Foundation today announced that the 2021 Military Bowl presented by Peraton, benefiting the USO, has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Boston College program.
The Eagles and East Carolina had been scheduled to play Monday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“This is a terrible situation obviously,” Military Bowl President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “We appreciate everyone who worked so hard to try to make the game happen. Of course, the health and safety of the players and coaches is top priority. The decision not to play is understandable, but disappointing.
“The Military Bowl Foundation’s mission is to raise funds for and support the nation’s service members. The Bowl is a big part of this, so it is devastating to think that it could impact our ability to make a positive difference for those who serve our nation.”
The Military Bowl Parade and the Military Bowl Tailgate Festival, scheduled for Monday morning, also is canceled.
“Boston College AD Pat Kraft and I have been in communication the last two days, and he phoned me a short time ago to inform me the Eagles would not be able to participate in the Military Bowl due to COVID-19,” ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “We are obviously very disappointed to not be able to play the game. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked tirelessly for the opportunity to represent ECU in a bowl game. Pirate Nation responded and were planning to paint Annapolis purple and gold. Unfortunately, we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, but our priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes.
ECU Athletics will be communicating information concerning all ticket refunds in the next 24 hours. In addition, tonight’s Pirate Club event at The Graduate has been canceled.
“This is painful to digest,” East Carolina Head Football Coach Mike Houston said. “I’m hurting for the young men representing our football program. We are crushed that we can’t compete on Monday and allow our seniors one final opportunity to wear the Pirates uniform. Everybody involved with our program has persevered through adversity over the past two years during this pandemic, so it was extremely difficult to tell them the 2021 season is complete. This is a special group of young men who will be remembered for their hard work, sacrifice and determination to restore the prominence of our football program.”
COURTESY EAST CAROLINA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS