DAYTON/CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The University of Dayton and Southeast Missouri State University have canceled their season-opening football game scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3 in Cape Girardeau due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel badly for the players of both teams,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said. “I know our guys are very disappointed. But the health and safety for our campus and our student-athletes has to be the priority. With the challenges related to COVID-19, we simply would not have time for our football team to be physically prepared with the proper exercise and heat acclimatization needed prior to our first game.
“I would like to thank SEMO, their athletic director Brady Barke and coach Matukewicz for their cooperation, dialogue and understanding over the last few months in coming to this decision.”
This was to be the first game of a home-and-home contract, and both teams will work to reschedule the game at SEMO during a future season.
The Redhawks were 9-4 overall, tied for first in the Ohio Valley Conference, and played in the NCAA FCS playoffs last season. The Flyers were 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Pioneer Football League in 2019. UD tied for second in the PFL last season.