Pittsburgh football team elects to not play in bowl game this season

The University of Pittsburgh football team will not be taking part in any postseason bowl games, the school announced in a statement Friday. 

The decision by Pittsburgh, a 6-5 team that plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference, "was made by the team and fully supported by the university," the school's statement said. 

Having completed their 11-game regular season slate, the Panthers' football season is now over. 

“Our football student-athletes’ sacrifice and commitment have been extraordinary,” Pitt athletics director Heather Lyke said in a statement. “We are thankful and proud of how they handled the past six months and want them to have a well-deserved restful holiday season with their families and loved ones.”

Though typical bowl requirements of hitting six wins had been waived for this unprecedented season, as a six-win ACC team, the Panthers would have been going to a bowl if they desired. USA TODAY Sports' latest bowl projections had them slotted into the Birmingham Bowl on New Year's Day. 

The Pitt Panthers have decided to not take part in any postseason bowl games, the school announced Friday night. (Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY Sports)

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“In my three decades as a coach, I’ve never been around a group of players who have faced greater challenges beyond the field than our team this year,” sixth-year Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “And yet, from the time they arrived back on campus in early June, these young men never wavered – not in the face of rigorous health protocols, multiple rounds of COVID testing each week or while handling the mental and physical challenges of playing 11 games in a pandemic.

“I’ve always been proud to be Pitt’s head football coach. That pride was especially great in working with this 2020 team. They have my eternal gratitude and respect.”

Pitt concluded its season Thursday night with a win against Georgia Tech, a game that had been postponed from Nov. 14. On Friday, it was announced that Georgia Tech's game at Miami set for next weekend was canceled because of the Yellow Jackets' inability to meet the ACC's "COVID-19 game discontinuation considerations." 

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