K-State football pauses all team activities, won’t compete in bowl game

Freshman running back Deuce Vaughn runs the ball in the Wildcats' 69-31 loss to Texas on Dec. 5. (File Photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The football team became the first Big 12 Conference school to publicly opt-out of a bowl game after announcing a pause to all team activities following the most recent round of COVID-19 test results and contact tracing. After receiving the results, the Wildcats won’t have enough players to prepare for and play in a bowl game.

After finishing the regular season with a 4-6 record and a No. 7 standing in Big 12 Conference, Kansas State had the opportunity to compete in a bowl game this year thanks to the NCAA changing the usual six-game victory requirement to play in a postseason game.

“This has been an unbelievably challenging year for everyone, but we were very excited to have the opportunity to end the season in a bowl game,” athletics director Gene Taylor said in a press release. “But with new positive cases and additional close contacts in our program, we would not have enough players to continue practices and field a team for the bowl game.”

According to the latest update from the Riley County Health Department, there are at least 343 active cases in the Riley County area with a positivity rate surpassing 20 percent.

“It certainly is a bittersweet ending to the season, but playing 10 regular-season games throughout all of this uncertainty was nothing short of a miracle,” head coach Chris Klieman said.

The news falls on the same day as college football’s early national signing day. Klieman plans to address the media regarding both situations at 3 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Hey! I’m Cameron Bradley and I am the sports editor for the Collegian! I am a junior from Wichita, Kansas, and I am majoring in journalism. When I’m not working for the Collegian, I’m creating content and putting on broadcasts with K-StateHD.TV. I am also currently a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. I love sports, spending time with friends, family and doing everything that I do for the glory of God!