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The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday that it is cancelling its football program for the upcoming school year, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It's the first FBS program to back out of this year's season — and it could be just the first domino to fall among other major programs.

What they're saying: "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk," said UConn athletics director David Benedict in a news release.

  • "The necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team."
  • "Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season."  

Go deeper

Nov 13, 2020 - Health

Ivy League cancels winter sports season

Harvard plays Princton in February 2020. Photo: John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ivy League has canceled its winter sports for the 2020-21 season, the conference's Council of Presidents said on Thursday.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as states across the U.S. see a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Nov 12, 2020 - Health

Chicago issues stay-at-home advisory as COVID-19 cases spike

Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced a stay-at-home advisory and a 10-person cap on social gatherings to combat a surge in new COVID-19 infections.

Why it matters: Lightfoot warned that Chicago could see 1,000 or more additional coronavirus-related deaths this year if steps are not taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Chicago has recorded an average of 1,920 cases a day over the last seven days, up from an average of 1,410 daily cases the week prior, per data from the city's Department of Public Health.