EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association held a press conference Tuesday morning about the new 2021 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl match-up between Central Michigan and Washington State following Miami's withdrawal due to a Covid outbreak amongst its team. You can watch it in the video player above.
Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas and Washington State Athletic Director Pat Chun discussed how they were able to successfully land Central Michigan as a bowl participant after it found itself without an opponent in thr Arizona Bowl due to Covid issues involving Boise State.
Here's a summary of the comments made at the press conference...
“This COVID thing is real and it’s very unfortunate that we were fortunate that another bowl had problems with COVID, and a team had to drop out. We were in the same situation, but luckily we were able to secure one of the teams for a bowl to play in.”
Statement on WSU engagement
“It’s very easy to gage when the team really wants to be in El Paso. I’ve never seen a team get really into the Sun Bowl as soon as they walk off the airplane. When you see a team excited to be here, those are the teams that are going to give it their all and going to give you a really good football game.”
Why coaches aren’t present for press conference
“The coaches are very busy studying film, getting ready for the game, that’s why we don’t have the coordinators press conference.”
Comments on other bowl games being canceled
“I really feel for the Military Bowl, the Fenway Bowl and now the Tucson Bowl.”
“It took them a while, but we got it done. I think both parties – Central Michigan came out ahead and we came out ahead.”
The impact of the game on El Paso
“It has a great economic impact on our city, and it also puts El Paso in a positive national light.”
“It would’ve been devastating to not have the game two years in a row, so we’re extremely happy about that.”
“The moment you get off this airplane and that walk of reception it’s abundantly clear how much this event means to the people of El Paso and the organization. It sets the tone for the whole week.”
Importance of game to team
“We have a team that has really bonded together, we are looking forward to representing the PAC 12 conference and our institution at this game and we all went into a mode like Bernie said this is more about you know he understands the importance of his role and this Bowl to the community, but we appreciate him for understanding how important this game is to the young men that wear our jersey.”
How the plan came together to get another team
“When they say partnership with Bowls, I think this is what's been lived out in the last two days here because it’s a true partnership, we were all 100 percent committed to the Sun Bowl. We were 100 percent committed to the El Paso.”
“They’ve earned this opportunity to be a part of this great community and this wonderful Bowl opportunity. We’re grateful we have this opportunity.”
“For Washington State and the year we’ve had, a normal day is a good day for us.”