BOSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Wasabi Fenway Bowl was canceled today after the University of Virginia pulled out due to COVID-19 cases.

Southern Methodist University and Virginia were set to play Wednesday, December 29 in Boston.

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A Fenway Bowl spokesperson said in a statement that the number of cases affecting Virginia’s roster would prevent safe participation, necessitating their withdrawal.

This is not the first time SMU has missed a bowl game due to COVID-19 cases. Last season, the 2020 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl was cancelled due to COVID-19’s impact on the SMU roster. UTSA and SMU were originally set to face off before the game’s cancellation.

SMU officials said they were disappointed for their fans and players, but that their own experience gave them sympathy for Virginia.

“I’m disappointed for our fans, and even more disappointed for our players, that we will be unable to play in a bowl game for the second straight season,” Director of Athletics Rick Hart said. “We are, however, sympathetic to Virginia’s situation, having had to withdraw from our bowl last season due to COVID. We hope those impacted get well soon.”

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Hart also offered a “special thank you to our seniors, who unfortunately played their final collegiate games not knowing at the time that it was their last time wearing an SMU uniform.”

Southern Methodist Mustangs QB Tanner Mordecai (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“This group went 25-10 over the past three seasons, tying for the most wins by an FBS team in Texas, with three straight bowl berths. These student-athletes ushered in a new era of Mustang Football, and we all owe them a great debt of gratitude.”

SMU and Fenway Bowl officials both said tickets would be refunded to the payment card within 14 business days.

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CBSDFW.com Staff