The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a ripple effect across sports and this time its latest victim is the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The bowl is the premier postseason all-star game for draft-eligible college football players.
“After careful consideration, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has decided to cancel the 2021 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game. In making this decision, we consulted with our personnel, medical, game operations and internal staff while doing our due diligence to review all potential options within the parameters of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the NFLPA said in a statement.
“Ultimately, we determined that we would be unable to provide our participants with the world-class, week-long experience that is the hallmark of our game.”
In its 10th year, the week-long experience typically provides players with the chance to showcase their skills to NFL scouts and coaches, while also learning about the business and lifestyle changes that come with being a professional football player.
More than 200 scouts, player personnel staff, general managers and head coaches from all 32 NFL teams are annually in attendance to watch live practices, conduct player interviews and review tape.
Some of the event’s most notable alumni include Tarik Cohen (Bears), Will Compton (Raiders), Chris Conley (Jaguars), Duron Harmon (Patriots), Avery Williamson (Jets), and Shaquill Griffin (Seahawks).
Although the NFLPA is not holding their typical in-person showcase, they will replace it with an innovative, virtual experience intended to educate, equip and empower participants in an effort to strategically engage with this year’s class of prospects.
Selected players will receive invites to attend the virtual experience, similar to how the process normally works.
Among the three college all-star games, including the NFLPA Bowl and East-West Shrine Bowl, the Reese’s Senior Bowl is the only event still planning to move forward in 2021. That game will be played Jan. 30th in Mobile, Ala.