UCLA announced Thursday it will decline a potential bowl invitation, a decision led by its football players and fully supported by coach Chip Kelly and athletic director Martin Jarmond.
“We are a player-led team, and we listened to our players when it came to making this decision,” Kelly said.
The decision means the Bruins will not play in a bowl game for the third time in Kelly’s three seasons as coach. UCLA is in its longest streak of missing bowls since the nine-season streak from 1966-74 when the Pac-8 Conference’s bowl participation was limited to the conference champion playing in the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins had qualified for bowls in six of the seven seasons before Kelly’s hiring.
With a 3-3 record entering Saturday’s season finale against Stanford at the Rose Bowl and 11 bowls canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was uncertain whether UCLA would receive a bowl invitation.
UCLA is the 11th team to decline a bowl invitation this season, with many citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason.