KU football seeking opponent for opener after New Hampshire postpones season

Matt Galloway
Les Miles, right, and Kansas football are looking for a new opponent for their season opener after the originally scheduled opponent, New Hampshire, postponed its fall sports programs Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

LAWRENCE — Kansas football’s upcoming season has been dealt its first coronavirus-related blow.

New Hampshire, the Jayhawks’ originally scheduled opponent for a Sept. 5 home opener at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, announced Friday that it has postponed all its fall sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wildcats’ decision came one day after it was reported their conference, the Colonial Athletic Association, would cancel its league schedules but allow its members to coordinate matchups independently.

"For months, we have worked diligently alongside our campus and league partners to establish safe protocols and practices that would protect our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the greater community," said UNH athletic director Marty Scarano. "As of the last few weeks it has become obvious that the trend line and scientific data indicates the virus is not under control and continues to present a significant risk."

Scarano’s counterpart at KU, Jeff Long, said in a news release that Scarano informed him of the Wildcats’ decision Friday morning and added efforts from the Jayhawks and the Big 12 to play full conference and nonconference schedules are ongoing.

“We have begun exploring all opportunities to fill the opening on our schedule that was created by New Hampshire,” the KU athletic director said, “and will provide an update when available.”

KU on July 3 announced it had suspended its voluntary football workout program for two weeks after 12 members of its team tested positive for COVID-19.

“We are disappointed to hear that we will be unable to play New Hampshire on Sept. 5 to kick off our 2020 season,” said KU football head coach Les Miles. “I fully support Jeff Long and the Big 12 Conference as they continue to explore our options for the fall season and look forward to adding a new opponent to our schedule.”