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Minnesota football opts to decline any bowl game invitation

The 2020 season comes to a merciful end

NCAA Football: Purdue at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will not accept a bowl game invitation, bringing their 2020 season to an end. The team issued a brief statement on Sunday morning announcing that the program would “decline the opportunity to compete in a bowl this year,” attributing the decision to head coach P.J. Fleck, the football team, and athletics department leadership.

Fleck’s statement:

“The health and safety of our student-athletes has always been our first priority. They invested a tremendous amount of physical and mental energy into competing in the Big Ten season this year and proudly represented Minnesota. The season was filled with daily off-field adversity caused by the pandemic, but their desire to play never wavered and they sacrificed so much in their personal lives to be able to compete in the Maroon and Gold this year. Right now, our focus is strictly on their well-being off the field, and we look forward to them being able to responsibly spend some of the remaining holiday season with family and loved ones. We will return our attention to football when everyone is back on campus in mid-January.”

Can’t argue with that.

And lest you forget, the Gophers have already played in one bowl game this calendar year, and I for one am perfectly okay with them finishing the year 1-0 in bowl games.