Severely undermanned Villanova announced Tuesday evening that it would not participate in the second annual Quinnipiac Cup, dropping out of the tournament the night before the Wildcats’ scheduled game with host Quinnipiac.
The tournament, held at the New Haven Coliseum, will feature Fairfield and Holy Cross in the opener at 4:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 28. The host Braves will face Iona — which agreed to fill the opening created by Villanova’s withdrawal — at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of the opening day. Next, games Feb. 4 will feature the consolation at 3:00 p.m. with the championship scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
“We are very disappointed at the timeliness of Villanova’s announcement, particularly in light of the considerations we gave Villanova in rescheduling the tournament from December to January,” said Quinnipiac director of athletics and recreation Jack McDonald, who also thanked Iona for its willingness to participate on extremely short notice.
Villanova’s faxed announcement read, “At this time, due to a substantial number of injuries and illnesses, we are unable to field a squad with the minimum number of participants needed to compete safely.”
Villanova head coach Nick Russo had apparently confirmed his team’s involvement as recently as Monday night, but instead the squad will forfeit its scheduled game. The team will be dropped from varsity status following this season.