UAlbany football ends season early

ALBANY (AP) — The University at Albany has decided not to play the two remaining games on its abbreviated spring football season.

Director of athletics Mark Benson said Wednesday the decision was not directly related to COVID-19 but “based on the extraordinary amount of injuries that have occurred this season and the overall health of our football program.”

“Everyone knows these are difficult times, these are difficult decisions,” Benson said on a Zoom call with reporters. “Sometimes we have to make tough decisions.”

The Great Danes are in the Championship Subdivision and were scheduled to play at No. 8 Delaware on Saturday and at home against No. 16 Villanova the following week.

Head coach Greg Gattuso said the decision to opt out was made with a focus on health and safety due to the high number of injuries on the roster. The Great Danes opened the season with a win at New Hampshire but had lost three straight, including a 21-7 setback at home to Stony Brook on Saturday.

“We are all competitive people and have done everything in our power to play a full spring season,” Gattuso said. “We all feel terrible right now, but at the end of the day I believe this is the right thing for my players. We had nine kids come out of the game Saturday. I go out (on the field) when I think a player is injured badly and I made … six or seven trips onto the field. It was overwhelming how we were after that game and on Sunday, so that’s kind of what started the process.”

By Paul Wager