Despite spending the weekend at SeaWorld, UCLA decided last minute that the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak in San Diego county was extensive enough to forfeit their bowl matchup with NC State just three hours before kickoff.
Martin Jarmond, UCLA’s athletic director, made a statement earlier today after the news broke on Twitter. “We are deeply disappointed for our young men in the football program that worked extremely hard for this opportunity.” said Jarmond. “My heart goes out to them. The health and safety of our students will always be our North Star.”
This announcement makes the Holiday Bowl the fifth postseason matchup canceled because of COVID issues in relation to the spread of the Omicron variant, a strand that has a 99.9%< rate of survival.
NC State head coach Dave Doreen told reporters that he had not been made aware that the Bruins were facing any issues related to the virus, and learned that the game was off just hours before kickoff. Coach Doreen said that he “Felt lied to” regarding UCLA last minute exit from the game, after Wolfpack fans, along with the team, have traveled over 1,000 miles to compete.