They added that his loss was "regretted" all the more because of the goal-scoring potential he displayed during the course of the League.
In discussing the options available to the selectors, manager Seamus Murphy said it was unfortunate that they had lost Darren Stamp through injury and Higgins "through lack of preparation."
"These were two fellows we were saying would be 'pluses' this year," he said.
Yesterday, county secretary Mick Kinsella explained that Higgins had been gone from the panel for the past two weeks. They had discussed the situation with the player.
"He told us he would not be able to train all the time. His new job takes him all over the country," he added. "We would love to have him."