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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

NC State coach disgusted over UCLA pulling out of bowl game

Dave Doeren feels like he got played after UCLA unexpectedly withdrew from their scheduled bowl game on Tuesday.

Just hours before the Bruins were supposed to face Doeren’s NC State team at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, Calif., they announced that they were pulling out of the game due to COVID-19 protocols within the program.

UCLA had several players who did not even make the trip to San Diego due to COVID. Athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement that their team was still in position to play despite these “isolated COVID challenges” but that the medical staff deemed it unsafe to compete on the day itself.

Doeren made no secret of his disgust about the whole situation.

“Felt lied to, to be honest,” said Doeren, per Mark Schlabach of ESPN. “We felt like UCLA probably knew something was going on, didn’t tell anybody on our side. We had no clue they were up against that. I don’t feel like it was very well handled from their university. It would’ve been great to have had a heads-up, so two, three days ago we could’ve found a Plan B. Disappointing.

“I don’t want this to diminish what happened here this year,” Doeren added. “This was an unfair thing that happened, and like all other unfair things, there’s not going to be a rationale that makes it feel good. We’re going to have to deal with it and get ready for what’s next.”

Doeren also said that the first that he heard of UCLA having more COVID issues was when his athletic director, Boo Corrigan, informed him that the game was off, only minutes before UCLA announced the news on Twitter.

Schlabach adds that NC State was looking for their tenth win, something they have only done once before in the history of their program. They also had a much longer trip to make to San Diego, traveling over 2,500 miles.

Instead though, the Holiday Bowl becomes the fifth game to get cancelled this bowl season due to COVID issues. We have seen some good senses of humor about the other cancelled bowl games, but it is tough to blame Doeren for not having one here.

Photo: Jul 22, 2021; Charlotte, NC, USA; N.C. State Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren speaks to the media during the ACC Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

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