Maryland football to decline any bowl invite, ending season
Maryland football head coach Mike Locksley during the Terps' 27-24 loss to Rutgers on Dec. 12, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)
Maryland football informed the Big Ten on Sunday it would not accept a bowl game invitation, ending its season, according to a team spokesperson.
The move was made due to the team’s current pause in activities caused by a COVID-19 outbreak. It closes the book on a tumultuous campaign ravaged by the virus, as the Terps played five games, the fewest in the Big Ten.
Maryland initially stopped practices and canceled games against Ohio State and Michigan State in mid-November after 23 players and seven staff — including head coach Mike Locksley — tested positive for COVID-19. The Terps also saw their Dec. 5 game against Michigan get axed after an outbreak within the Wolverines’ program.
And just last Thursday, Maryland shut down workouts and canceled its game against Michigan State for the second time as at least 15 additional players and six more staff contracted COVID-19.
At least 38 of the Terps’ 115 players have contracted COVID-19 since the season began Oct. 24, and the athletic department has recorded 154 positive tests overall since late June.
Maryland is the fifth Big Ten program to opt-out of the postseason, one in which minimum winning percentage requirements were waived. That left the window open for the Terps to make their first bowl game since 2016, despite a 2-3 record.
But now their season is dashed, ended by a pandemic that has only intensified in the months since Big Ten play began.