SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV-TV) College football players from Division 1 and Division 2 schools were in town this weekend to perform in the USA College Bowl Game. The nearly one hundred players and families were all taken back when they arrived Monday afternoon to play the official game only to hear it had been canceled just before kickoff.
“We feel like we’ve been robbed and a lot of people want their money back for this,” says Montana Tech University corner back Xavier Marsden.
The players came from all across the country to play in the game. They were in town since Friday practicing and building anticipation for the big game. All of that to be told minutes before kickoff that it’s been canceled.
“We were told that there were going to be NFL scouts and agents here. We were told we were going to be put in front of a lot of eyes and basically we got down here and we were all way misunderstood,” says Marsden who thinks he spent well over a $1000 in fees to play as well as travel expenses.
News 3 reached out to the coordinator on why the game was canceled at the field, but he refused to comment. Dennis Wilson, president of the American Football Networks Inc. and lead organizer of the event did release a statement saying;
Prior to today’s scheduled game, we experienced a series of unfortunate events and injuries that led to unforeseen departures. As a result, this caused each of the teams to be low in numbers on certain position groupings. It was a collaborative decision between the organizers behind the USA College Football Bowl and the football players that for safety reasons, the game should be cancelled.
He added that they do plan to try and reimburse players and their families.
Additionally, we would like to extend our most sincere apology to the athletes that did want to play in today’s game, and the coaches that volunteered their time.
For the players, however, it’s a situation now that they maybe one last chance to showcase their talents.
“I honestly felt like I had a chance to go to the next level, so I just have to find out a new way to do it now,” says Savannah State University senior tight end Damani Debeatham.
The event was sponsored locally by the Savannah business chamber and sports council. The news of the abrupt cancellation comes as a shock to them as well.
“We are a true sports town we love to support everyone and we never want to see anything like this happen so hopefully we get some answers from the organizer in the future on why he did it and those players get some answers too,” says Savannah Sports Council Director Ben Wilder.