Middle Tennessee State decides to end its 2020 season early after back-to-back COVID-19 cancellations

Nick Bromberg
·2-min read

The 2020 season is over for Middle Tennessee State after the school announced Saturday that it wouldn’t try to play any more games this year.

Middle Tennessee State (3-6) hasn’t played since Nov. 21. The Blue Raiders’ last two games — scheduled against Florida Atlantic and UAB — have been canceled because they haven’t had enough players due to COVID-19 and other injuries. MTSU is the first school at the top level of college football to announce that it was ending its season early by choice.

"It has been a very long and challenging season and we felt it was time for the players to go home and be with family," MTSU athletic director Chris Massaro said in a statement. "There's not a book on how to navigate a virus in college football so we were all experiencing it for the first time and learning as we went. All involved deserve a lot of credit. However, our overall record was not to our expectations and standards. All efforts in our football program will now point to focusing on the 2021 football season."

MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 02:  A helmet of the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders rests on the sideline during a 28-6 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Floyd Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Middle Tennessee will finish the 2020 season at 3-6. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

MTSU had 12 games on its schedule to start the season; it also had a game against Charlotte that was postponed. But with Charlotte, FAU and UAB all having games against other teams scheduled for the Dec. 12 weekend, MTSU was left without a scheduled opponent to play even if it would have been able to play the game.

The school is a part of Conference USA, the conference that has been hit the hardest by COVID-19 cases. C-USA teams like Charlotte and Florida International have played only five games this season despite the league starting play in early September. As of now, Texas-San Antonio is the only team slated to play 11 games in 2020.

The 3-6 record for the Blue Raiders gives the school its second consecutive losing season. The last time MTSU had back-to-back losing seasons was in 2010 and 2011.

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