The threat posed by Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 5 storm barreling toward Florida, prompted UCF to push its home game with Memphis up on the schedule, from Saturday to Friday. Today brings word that another game has been pushed off the schedule completely.
Miami announced Wednesday that its game at Arkansas State, along with all other athletic events, has been canceled. And, because there are no mutual bye weeks moving forward, the game will not be rescheduled, at least this season.
While the hurricane is expected to have minimal impact on the state of Arkansas, the concern for UM was getting back to South Florida from Jonesboro as Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, is expected to make landfall in their area this weekend.
“The decision to cancel these athletic contests is difficult, especially as some are scheduled to take place away from Miami,” a statement from UM athletic director Blake James began. “However, we made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger traveling to and from contests. As we have seen from the tragic impact of Hurricane Harvey—and from South Florida’s own experiences—the impacts of hurricanes can be devastating and long-lasting, and can make travel extremely difficult and dangerous.
“I want to thank all of our opponents for their cooperation and understanding. Our thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Irma both here in South Florida and afar. We are comforted in knowing that our community is strong and will come together, if needed, to recover from the storm.”
As for other Irma-related developments, it was reported overnight that Florida International’s game against Alcorn State will not be played at Miami’s Riccardo Silva Stadium. To where the game will be moved, or if it’s even played, remains to be seen as the school has made no official announcement one way or the other.
Alcorn State at FIU game Saturday will not be played in Miami. FIU looking at other options
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 6, 2017
There’s also the possibility that Florida State’s game against Louisiana-Monroe, scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Tallahassee Saturday night, could be moved to noon that day.
UPDATED 10:24 a.m. ET: Florida State did indeed announce Wednesday morning that its game against Louisiana-Monroe in Tallahassee Saturday has been moved from 7 ET to noon ET.
“We have moved the game time after consulting with a number of state agencies and based on the information we have on the potential impact on the state,” said FSU president John Thrasher in a statement. “The earlier start will give ULM the opportunity to travel safely after the game, and provide many of our fans a chance to come to the game and return home in time to make any necessary preparations.”