Liberty athletic department, Flame Nation react to COVID-19 canceling ESPN College GameDay showdown

Head coach: ‘Several key players and coaches’ would’ve been out Saturday

After the Flames football players tested positive for COVID-19, the school canceled the game against Coastal.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty University’s Head Football Coach, Hugh Freeze, didn’t get into specifics during Thursday’s virtual news conference, but he simply said “several key players and coaches” would’ve been out if they played No. 14 Coastal Carolina Saturday.

Athletic Director Ian McCaw told reporters they received test results on Wedmesday and alerted Coastal Carolina and ESPN of the positive cases.

[Liberty, Coastal Carolina football game canceled due to Flames’ coronavirus cases]

He said he’s disappointed for student-athletes and coaches but supports the medical team’s decision.

“There have been 114 games canceled thus far this season. We’ve been fortunate not to be on that list up until now; but this week was an unfortunate one for us,” McCaw said.

McCaw expects to bring the team back sometime next week, hoping they can prepare for a bowl game.

As for Flames nation, one Liberty student told 10 News she was looking forward to watching the team play on ESPN College GameDay.

“It’s obviously disappointing because we’ve had a great season so far, and we’d like to see them continue. But, they also have to do what’s best for them. They have to stay healthy,” said Shelby Hassall, a junior at the university.

Freeze echoed that Thursday morning, saying, “the biggest challenge is between now and whenever [we] find out about a bowl game because there’s a lot of free time, student-athletes are on their own right now, and they have to finish academics strong.”

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.