Tennessee out of AutoZone Liberty Bowl after new COVID-19 cases

Tennessee quarterback Harrison Bailey (15) hands the ball off to running back Eric Gray (3)...
Tennessee quarterback Harrison Bailey (15) hands the ball off to running back Eric Gray (3) during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Florida on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Knoxville, Tenn. (Randy Sartin/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool)(Randy Sartin | AP)
Updated: Dec. 21, 2020 at 3:39 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - New COVID-19 cases within the Tennessee Volunteers’ football program will force the team to drop out of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

ESPN first reported multiple new cases among players and coaches, including head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

The team confirmed the positive tests in a tweet Monday afternoon but did not disclose who tested positive.

“After receiving Sunday’s COVID-19 test results, the University of Tennessee football program has paused all team activities and will be unable to compete in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The test results revealed an increase in positive cases among student-athletes and staff and subsequent contact tracing. The decision was made in consultation with health officials, the Southeastern Conference and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The student-athletes and staff affected are taking the appropriate safety measures in accordance with University, CDC and local health department guidelines. The University of Tennessee extends its sincere appreciation to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the city of Memphis and is disappointed it will not be able to fulfill its commitment on New Year’s Eve.”

The Vols were set to take on West Virginia in Memphis Dec. 31.

ESPN reports Army may take over for Tennessee.

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