TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — No. 10 Florida State canceled its home game Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe because of impending Hurricane Irma.
The cancellation Thursday night came after Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered all state colleges and universities closed through Monday in order to support shelter and emergency relief efforts. Officials on Wednesday initially moved the start time from 7 p.m. to noon.
The teams do not have open dates on the same week, preventing them from rescheduling the game.
Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox said the decision was the wisest one for the safety of all involved.
Both athletic directors said in statements that the cancellation was the best decision to make.
“Obviously, law enforcement and emergency management resources will be stretched thin throughout the state due to the magnitude of Hurricane Irma,” Louisiana-Monroe athletic director Nick Floyd said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents and first responders of the state as preparations for projected landfall continue.”
Florida State University President John Thrasher added that the cancellation should help reduce fuel consumption and congestion on major highways. Both were a factor statewide on Thursday as preparation continued.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said after practice Thursday that this week has been tough for some of his players, due to the storm’s anticipated path. 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.
Fisher added that some of the player’s 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.”
Louisiana-Monroe had scheduled a charter flight to Tallahassee, but sports information director John Lewandowski said the school was in the process of canceling the flight as well as hotel rooms.
The Seminoles are scheduled to face 16th-ranked Miami on Sept. 16, but if the storm causes extensive damage to South Florida or the rest of the state, that could get postponed. Both teams have an open date Oct. 7.
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