Boston College Elects Not to Play in Bowl Game This Year: "The Players Are Emotionally Spent"

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Boston College's football team has elected not to participate in a bowl game this year, citing the season's emotional and physical toll on players. 

Coach Jeff Hafley announced the news and thanked players for the "sacrifice and commitment" they made this season.

The Eagles' decision follows their final regular-season game, a 43–32 loss to Virginia last Saturday. 

"The players are emotionally spent," athletic director Pat Kraft told Stadium's Brett McMurphy. "They haven't seen family since June. This season was hard for them. We met after practice. Proud of them to be honest with ourselves."

Boston College went 6–5 in the shortened 2020 season. As part of the ACC's schedule changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the league established an 11-game slate, including one non-conference matchup, to be played over 13 weeks. The NCAA also waived the eligibility requirements (.500 record) for the 2020-21 bowl season.

Boston College is the first team to opt out of a bowl game, and sources told McMurphy that other programs will follow suit. 

"It's a road game, basically," Kraft told Yahoo Sports about playing a bowl game. "The players would have to be away from their families for the holidays and it's uncertain if families could come to the game. It's different than the true bowl game experience.

"We wanted to make sure what was the best decision for us and the health and wellbeing of our student athletes and make a decision that would really reward the athletes."

Five bowl games connected with the ACC have already been canceled, creating doubt for some programs' postseason options.

Virginia (5–4) has not reached a decision on playing in a bowl game if invited, but some players have already addressed their wishes to go home for the holidays at the conclusion of the regular season.