CHARLOTTE — UNC Charlotte’s home-opener on Saturday against FIU has been postponed because of an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the opponent’s football program.
This is the third time the 49ers will not play because of the pandemic. It is the second home-opener that has been postponed due to the pandemic.
“We are disappointed for our team and fans, but we certainly understand and respect FIU’s decision,” said 49ers Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “We will work closely with the conference and FIU to attempt to reschedule this game in December.”
“We will work closely with the conference and FIU to attempt to reschedule this game in December.”
The 49ers' next scheduled game is next week against UTEP.
Charlotte’s game against Georgia State was postponed earlier because of a positive COVID-19 test result on the visiting team.
“A home game -- parents coming,” UNCC head coach Will Healy said. “My parents are in town. Our players' parents are in town. You feel like you’re there.”
But the home opener must wait.
“It’s crazy,” the coach said. “It’s not weather-related. I know that there (were) guys in the past who’ve had to cancel games because of hurricanes. This is two consecutive weeks that we’ve canceled games within 48 hours of kickoff.”
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Before that, UNCC had to cancel its game against UNC-Chapel Hill because of COVID-19.
UNCC student Avery Johnson said he’s not surprised.
“Especially with football,” Johnson said. “It’s such a close contact sport, and it’s impossible to social distance.”
Healy said he and the team were within hours of loading the bus to Chapel Hill before getting the call.
“I think the one thing it’s taught me is that I can never assure our players of anything,” he said. “You want to convince a team that you have to prepare to go play, but you don’t want to tell them something that you don’t know is going to happen.”
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