With a single tweet, Hawaii football dropped a bombshell on the eve of the 2021 EasyPost Hawaii Bowl: the Rainbow Warriors will not play, canceling on the Memphis Tigers.
HONOLULU – Due to COVID issues within the program and along with season-ending injuries and transfers, the University of Hawai’i will not be able to participate in the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl against Memphis.
“We are disappointed our season has to end this way,” head coach Todd Graham said. “As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.”
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important part of this decision,” said Athletics Director David Matlin. “The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has forced us to not participate in the game. We are disappointed for our players, coaches, and fans. ESPN and the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl staff did everything they could for us and we appreciate their valiant effort throughout the week. We want to thank the Memphis Tigers for making the long trip to Hawai’i. We are disappointed we can’t compete on the football field.” The EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 24 at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex. It was supposed to be UH’s 10th appearance in the game.
Hawai‘i will not participate in EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl.— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) December 24, 2021
“The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has forced us to not participate in the game. We are disappointed for our players, coaches, and fans.”- Athletics Director David Matlin.
➡️ https://t.co/OxL5Nbbltu pic.twitter.com/oRNm9osiJV
That pretty much tracks with how the rest of this chaotic 2021 year has gone for Hawaii football. I find it interesting that the news release lists transfers and injuries as cause for cancellation, in addition to COVID-19 spreading throughout the team. We’ve known about the transfers for weeks, so I’m guessing the virus must have really taken off in the Hawaii locker room in recent days.
That’s a bummer of a conclusion to the 2021 Hawaii football season. The Warriors finish the season 6-7. Next time we’ll see the Rainbow Warriors will be on August 27th, 2022 when Vanderbilt visits Clarence T.C. Ching Complex.
Another bizarre off-season awaits. Mele Kalikimaka, Rainbow Warriors fans.