Florida State and Florida canceled their Saturday home football games Thursday because of Hurricane Irma.
No. 10 Florida State was set to play Louisiana-Monroe, and No. 22 Florida was scheduled to face Northern Colorado.
No. 21 South Florida and UConn called off their game in Connecticut because of travel concerns. Central Florida also announced its scheduled Friday night home game with Memphis had been called off. The Memphis-UCF game had been moved from Saturday to Friday because of the threat.
The cancellations came after Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered all state colleges and universities closed through Monday to support shelter and emergency relief efforts.
“As the Hurricane’s track has approached the state of Florida, it’s become obvious that playing a football game is not the right thing to do,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “The focus of our state and region needs to be on evacuations and relief efforts. There is a tremendous amount of stress currently on the roads of this state, and the availability of gas, water and other supplies are at critical levels. Playing a college football game Saturday would only add to that stress.”
Last year, the LSU-Florida game was postponed a month and relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, because of Hurricane Matthew.
Florida State has more than a dozen players on its roster who are from South Florida, which is expected to receive the greatest brunt of the hurricane. Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher added that some of the players’ families have come up to the area and that the school is making sure they have somewhere to go. Fisher also said the NCAA has been helpful with granting waivers so that the university can provide assistance.
“It’s a very tough thing to juggle,” Fisher said. “You just communicate with them and communicate with their families. This is a football game. That’s life and death and very critical. It can be disturbing, but I think our guys have handled it well.”
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