Calhoun Times

Texas A&M drops out of Gator Bowl

- Field Level Media

No. 25 Texas A&M announced Wednesday that it is withdrawin­g from a Gator Bowl matchup with No. 17 Wake Forest, citing a combinatio­n of COVID-19 issues as well as injuries.

Gator Bowl officials are seeking a replacemen­t to face the Demon Deacons (10-3) on Dec. 31 in Jacksonvil­le, Fla. The leading candidate to take the vacancy is Rutgers (5-7), according to multiple media outlets.

“We are disappoint­ed that Texas A&M University and the Aggie fans will be unable to represent the Southeaste­rn Conference in Jacksonvil­le at this year’s TaxSlayer Gator Bowl game,” Gator Bowl chairman John Duce said in a statement. “However, the health and safety of the studentath­letes, coaches and staff remains our primary concern.”

“It is unfortunat­e, but we just don’t have enough scholarshi­p players available to field a team,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said.

According to The Athletic, one option the Gator Bowl has weighed is whether to match Wake Forest with a team that has already played in a bowl game this month. Any team seeking to be considered as A&M’s replacemen­t would need NCAA approval to play a second bowl game.

ESPN reported that the NCAA

Division I Football Oversight Committee would meet Thursday to decide whether a team without the necessary six wins for bowl eligibilit­y would be granted an exemption. Rutgers could be first in line based on its superior Academic Progress Rate score, per ESPN.

Texas A&M (8-4) began the season by winning seven of its first nine games. It has since dropped two of its last three, including a 27-24 decision to LSU on Nov. 27.

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