NC State football coach Dave Doeren has been on a tear this week over UCLA’s eleventh-hour cancellation of the Holiday Bowl due to COVID-19 in the Bruins’ program.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Doeren eviscerated the NCAA for not awarding his Wolfpack squad a forfeit victory over UCLA.
“The NCAA stands for No Clue At All in my opinion,” Doeeren said. “I don’t really care what they say about it. We took a roster of guys down there, had zero COVID issues, practiced every day, did everything right, didn’t even get a chance to play the game. As far as I’m concerned, we did beat them. They couldn’t even get to the field.”
Doeren pointed to the College Football Playoff, where it’s been stipulated that if a team has a COVID situation and can’t play the game, they have to eat a forfeit.
NC State players and coaches gave up Christmas with their families to travel across the country to San Diego for the game, only to have the game canceled mere hours before kickoff.
Earlier in the week, Doeren said that NC State “felt lied to” by UCLA, who are led by former Oregon and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
“We felt like UCLA probably knew something was going on with their team and didn’t tell anyone on our side,” Doeren said. “We had no clue they were up against that. I don’t think it was very well handled from their university.”
The bitterness extended to NC State players. Wide receiver Thayer Thomas alleged that the UCLA players took a vote not to play, an allegation that was denied by star UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Whatever the specifics of the process for UCLA’s cancellation, it was profoundly inconsiderate for them not to clue NC State in sooner that COVID-19 issues were rearing their head in the program.