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Coastal Carolina University plays at home. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

The Sun Belt Conference Championship game at Brooks Stadium was abruptly canceled Thursday night after a member of Coastal Carolina's football program tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release from the conference.
 
The contest between the undefeated Chanticleers and Louisiana-Lafayette was called off because contact tracing showed that an entire position group had potentially been exposed to the virus and would not be available to play on Saturday, according to the release. 
 
“We are very disappointed that the championship game cannot be played, but we are so proud of all of the players and staff members and their hard work during this truly challenging season," Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill said in the release. "We will honor both teams as 2020 Sun Belt Conference Co-Champions."
 
Matt Hogue, Coastal's athletics director, echoed that sentiment in a statement posted on the Coastal Athletics website.
 
"We are all obviously devastated with this development and hurt for the student-athletes from both institutions in that they will not have a chance to compete for a conference title," Hogue said. "However, the adherence to health and safety protocols for our student-athletes has been and remains the first priority. Those protocols and guidance from our medical team fully governs this decision."
 
No. 12 Coastal Carolina (11-0, 8-0 Sun Belt) and No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette (9-1, 7-1 Sun Belt) will now prepare for bowl games, which have not been announced yet. 
 

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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