KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri will no longer be able to play in Wednesday's Music City Bowl game due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Jim Sterk, Mizzou's Director of Athletics, announced in a news release Sunday afternoon that "all team activities" will be paused until Jan. 2, following the advice of health officials and Dr. Steve Whitt, the team's physician.
Sterk said the student-athletes have been "extremely diligent" in following COVID-19 testing protocols since the return to campus earlier this year.
"We are incredibly proud of their efforts to play every regular-season game this fall," Sterk said, "As well as the success they have had on the field against a 10-game all-SEC schedule that included five games against nationally ranked opponents, and in the classroom during the fall semester. However, this eight-day uptick within our program is significant and has made it impossible for us to play in the bowl game, which I know comes as a disappointment to our student-athletes, coaches and fans, who were excited about the opportunity to play a great Iowa team in Nashville."
Earlier in the day, a source called it "highly, highly doubtful" that Mizzou's football team would play in Wednesday's Music City Bowl against Iowa, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Post-Dispatch also reports that there has been an uptick in cases traced back to the team's Dec. 19 game at Mississippi State.
DEVELOPING STORY at @stltoday: It's 'highly, highly doubtful' that Mizzou will play in Wednesday's Music City Bowl, per source, after an uptick in COVID cases— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 27, 2020
The Tigers and Hawkeyes were set to face off at Nissan Stadium in Nashville Wednesday afternoon.