The Minnesota Golden Gopher football team announced on Sunday that it will not accept an invitation to a bowl game if they receive an invite.
The Gophers finished the regular season with a 3-4 record after a 20-17 overtime loss to Wisconsin on Sunday but has deemed the health and safety of their student-athletes as a bigger priority than playing in a postseason game.
"They invested a tremendous amount of physical and mental energy into competing in the Big Ten season this year and proudly represented Minnesota," Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. "Right now, our focus is strictly on their well-being off the field and we look forward to them being able to responsibly spend some of the remaining holiday season with family and loved ones."
The Gophers' season was an eventful one as they had a COVID-19 outbreak within the program that caused the cancellation of a game against Northwestern and the postponement of the Gophers' game with the Badgers.
Although every team qualified for a bowl game this season, many programs have decided to take the bowl season off due to the nature of playing through a pandemic. The Gophers are the second Big Ten team to make the decision to not play in a bowl game as Penn State announced their decision after their season-ending victory over Illinois.
With the decision of star receiver Rashod Bateman to opt-out of the program to prepare for the NFL Draft, the Gophers had an uphill battle and will look to rebound in the 2021 season.