Cal Poly forfeits football season due to low roster numbers

Posted at 6:32 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 21:32:02-04

Cal Poly Football has announced they will forfeit the final three games of their season due to a dangerously low number of players on the active roster.

The Mustangs opened their unprecedented 2021 season March 13th.

Three losses later, the Mustangs have only 49 members on the active roster due to injuries and players electing to sit out in order to be eligible for the 2021 season in the fall.

Cal Poly Head Football Coach Beau Baldwin said, “Everything that went into that between myself, athletic director, and president, all of us collaborated in making the right decision for the health and welfare of the student athletes.”

Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman said, “Some guys made a decision to play these next three games or to defer enrollment to play a full schedule in the fall and a bunch of our starters decided that they were going to do that and we supported them in that.”

The Big West requires 64 players for travel. With 49 healthy players, carrying out the final three games against Northern Arizona, UC Davis, and Weber State was nearly impossible.

Despite not knowing whether the loss of games against Cal Poly will be counted as wins, forfeits, or a potential bye, Oberhelman said the schools Oberhelman offered their support for the decision.

Baldwin said, “We were at a point where we were well short of having enough to travel and that would be bringing every single eligible body that’s healthy. There are young men that should be redshirting, not going up against 21 or 22-year-olds for 60-70 snaps.”

Oberhelman said, “With the data that we have, probably not. Here’s the flipside is if we hadn’t and we’re all healthy sitting and chomping at the bit wondering why we’re not playing, that’s the other side of it.”

Financially, the move won’t hurt the school since fans weren’t intended to attend games.

Oberhelman: “It’s going to be actually a little bit of a savings but not enough to make it factor into the decision in any way.”

COVID-19 did not play a role in the decision since no players were on or currently are on the COVID-19 protocol list.