FAYETTEVILLE — The Mercari Texas Bowl is canceled due to COVID issues in the TCU program.
The Razorbacks were set to leave at 12:45, but then the news started trickling out the game was canceled. It was scheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Sources indicate bowl reps reached out to another team, but they were unable to take TCU’s place.
Here is the official statement from the Mercari Texas Bowl:
Due to an increased number of positive COVID-19 tests and other circumstances within the TCU football program, the 2020 Mercari Texas Bowl has been canceled.
“While we are disappointed in canceling this year’s game, we look forward to hosting both the Texas Kickoff and Texas Bowl next season,” said David Fletcher, executive director. “We appreciate everyone’s support, including our new title sponsor, Mercari.”
Tickets that were purchased for the game originally scheduled to take place at NRG Stadium in Houston will be refunded and processed by the outlet it was purchased through, including Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and Ticketmaster.
Below are statements from Coach Pittman and Hunter Yurachek regarding the cancelation of the Texas Bowl due to COVID-19 issues in the TCU program:
Arkansas Head Coach Sam Pittman: “We are very disappointed not to get the opportunity to compete again as a team. 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.”
Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek: “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.”
TCU Director of Athletics Jeremiah Donati released this statement:
“Over the last 24 hours, between a combination of COVID-19 related issues, injuries and other circumstances, we have fallen below the established Big 12 Conference threshold for student-athlete availability that we have abided by all season. As such, we very regrettably will not be able to participate in Thursday night’s Mercari Texas Bowl against Arkansas.
“Health and safety considerations for our student-athletes are always our top priority. Our entire football program, from our student-athletes to coaches and staff, is incredibly saddened, disappointed and heartbroken. We are very appreciative of the Mercari Texas Bowl for the invitation to participate in this year’s game. While we have experienced these issues all season, the past 24 hours have been too much to overcome on such short notice for Thursday’s game.
“I am very proud of our student-athletes and coaches for how they finished the season with victories in five of our last six games. We were playing our best football and are excited about the momentum we have going into the 2021 season. We appreciate the commitment, dedication and perseverance of our student-athletes, coaches and everyone in our football program this season.”