UD Football cancels season opener against SEMO

Rising senior Jack Cook (#10) and the rest of the UD football team will have to wait at least an extra week for the kickoff of the Flyers’ 2020 season. Photo courtesy of Erik Schelkun.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

In the first of what could be many cancellations, the University of Dayton and Southeast Missouri State University jointly announced Monday that their Sept. 3 match-up has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan expressed his gratitude to SEMO, their athletic director Brady Barke, and head coach Tom Matukewicz for their “cooperation, dialogue and understanding over the last few months in coming to that decision.”

“I feel badly for the players of both teams,” Sullivan said.  “I know our guys are very disappointed.  But the health and safety for our campus and our student-athletes has to be the priority.  With the challenges related to COVID-19, we simply would not have time for our football team to be physically prepared with the proper exercise and heat acclimatization needed prior to our first game.”

With the case count rebounding in much of the United States, the growing jeopardy of the fall season is certainly something to keep an eye on. As of the writing of this article, the Flyers’ first football game will be on the road against Georgetown on Saturday, Sept. 12.

Outside of the Flyers’ football team, this cancellation could lead to more cancellations of other fall sports games. If the case count continues to rise and impacts the Dayton area or places where the Flyers have road games, this could be just the first of many cancellations for UD athletics.

The cancelled match-up with the Redhawks was the first of a home-and-home series, which both teams hope will be rescheduled in the near future.

Both teams come off of quality seasons, the Redhawks finishing 9-4 and playing in the NCAA FCS playoffs, and the Flyers finishing 8-3 and tied for second in the PFL.

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