FAYETTEVILLE – Because of covid-19 issues within the Texas Christian University’s Horned Frogs football program, the Arkansas vs. TCU Mercari Bowl scheduled Thursday night at NRG Stadium in Houston has been cancelled, Texas Bowl executive director David Fletcher announced Tuesday in Houston.
Razorbacks Coach Sam Pittman had started preparing the Razorbacks for a bowl game even before the Dec. 20 announcement that the 3-7 Razorbacks of the SEC were paired vs. TCU, 6-4, of the Big 12.
Both Pittman and Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek issued statements after Fletcher’s announcement shortly before the Razorbacks were to fly to Houston.
“We are very disappointed not to get the opportunity to compete again as a team,” Pittman said. “We were excited and wanted to go play TCU in the Texas Bowl, but we certainly understand the issues in the TCU program. We had no positive tests from yesterday and were ready to go to Houston this afternoon with a healthy team. Our team and our student-athletes have sacrificed a lot over the last several months, including over the holidays, so this is a tough way to end our season. I’m so proud of our team for fighting and handling themselves through adversity all year.”
Yurachek added, ““We are disappointed that our student-athletes will not have an opportunity to compete against TCU in the Mercari Texas Bowl. In what has been one of the most unusual seasons in college football history, our student-athletes made incredible sacrifices and earned the opportunity to safely compete in 10 games during the 2020 football season. That is a tremendous credit to them and the efforts of Coach Sam Pittman, his staff, our medical team and the leadership of Commissioner Greg Sankey and the Southeastern Conference. We look forward to taking the field again for the 2021 season.”
The Texas Bowl became the latest of bowls cancelled because of covid issues.
SEC teams Tennessee, Missouri and South Carolina have had to withdraw from bowl games cancelled either because of their or their opponents, covid-19 issues.