ST. LOUIS — The University of Dayton football team will not play a game this season after the Pioneer Football League announced Friday the 2020 season was canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The PFL membership is spread from coast-to-coast and throughout the Midwest which poses challenges related to team travel, as well as difficulties meeting applicable state, local and institutional health requirements and COVID-19 mitigation strategies,” a PFL spokesperson said in a media release Friday.
This will be the first fall since 1945 that Dayton will not play a football season, according to UD athletics.
Last week, the conference announced that PFL members would play only conference games. Before that announcement, UD had already cancelled the first two games of the year, both road games, at Southeast Missouri and Georgetown.
“The Presidents and Athletic Directors of our respective universities made this very difficult decision after extensive deliberations and consideration of many factors. We recognize that our student-athletes will be disappointed, but our highest priority is the health and safety of all those involved in our athletic programs,” James M. Danko, President of Butler University and Chair of the PFL said in the statement.
“Ultimately, the risks of proceeding are simply too high especially to ensure the safety of our students.”
The Flyer football team and the rest of UD’s sports programs will continue training and practices in the fall, in alignment with campus and local health guidelines and practice protocols.
The Atlantic 10 conference also announced in July that all fall sports would be suspended with the hope for resuming them in spring 2021.