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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M unable to play in TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

The Texas A&M football team and their staff members filled the stands of Kyle Field for their 2021-2022 team picture. 

Due to a recent COVID-19 outbreak within the football program, Texas A&M is forced to end its season.

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, it was reported that A&M does not have enough available players to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against Wake Forest. The Aggies only have 38 scholarship players due to COVID-19, opt outs, transfers and injuries.

“Because of a COVID[-19] outbreak, Texas A&M is unable to play in the Gator Bowl,” Sports Illustrated reported. “Aggies don’t have enough available players.”

A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher said it is disappointing to see the season end this way.

“It is unfortunate, but we just don’t have enough scholarship players available to field a team,” Fisher said.

Texas A&M will finish its 2021 season 8-4. The Aggies began the season with National Championship aspirations and ended No. 23 in the AP Poll. Despite beating No. 1 Alabama, the Aggies faced frustrating losses at Ole Miss and LSU and battled injuries throughout the season. 

A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork said it is a discouraging way to end the season; however, the Aggies are on track to do great things in seasons to come.

​​“It is heartbreaking for our players, coaches, staff and fans that we are not able to play in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl,” Bjork said. “Post-season football is the pinnacle of the season and when the opportunity is lost, it hurts on many levels. As we have learned in the last 21 months of this health challenge, the well-being and safety of our student athletes is paramount. Our players poured their heart and soul into this season, and we appreciate their dedication as Aggies. Aggie football is on track for long-term success, and we know that the best is yet to come.”

The Gator Bowl is currently searching for a replacement team to fill the Aggies’ spot, according to a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.

“Gator is searching for a replacement bowl team … but the only way that’s possible is if another bowl is impacted.”

Since no other bowls have yet to be impacted, Brett McMurphy reported that 5-7 teams are being asked to participate.
 

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