Earlier today, South Florida announced that its game Friday night Illinois would go off as planned despite Hurricane Irma’s aftermath. A short time later, it was confirmed that another FBS team in the state is going forward with its scheduled game as well.
The SEC announced very late Tuesday morning that Saturday’s Tennessee-Florida game will be played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as scheduled. Also as previously scheduled, the game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The conference wrote in its release that “[t]he determination to play was made after an assessment of the impact resulting from Hurricane Irma on the University of Florida campus and surrounding areas as well as an evaluation of the available physical and personnel resources necessary to conduct a football game.”
Below are the statements from all of the pertinent parties involved:
FLORIDA ATHLETIC DIRECTOR SCOTT STRICKLIN
“While we know how important it is for this campus and the Gainesville community to host a game, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those that have been impacted by the storm, and we are thankful for the support Floridians have received during this time.
“After meeting with the City of Gainesville, campus officials and numerous staffing entities to discuss hosting the game, we are pleased that the Florida-Tennessee football game will take place in Gainesville Saturday as scheduled. There has been a tremendous amount of cooperation between local authorities, the Southeastern Conference and the Tennessee athletic program throughout this process and we are grateful for these strong partnerships.”
TENNESSEE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JOHN CURRIE
“We appreciate the communication from both our friends in Gainesville and the conference office as this assessment was made. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Irma and other recent storms throughout the SEC footprint, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to travel to Florida this weekend.”
SEC COMMISSIONER GREG SANKEY
“The University of Florida has been diligent in assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Gainesville community and has made a thoughtful decision in moving forward with the game. We appreciate the communication, coordination and cooperation among the many agencies and groups necessary to produce a game in a safe environment. Our prayers remain with the people of Florida as well as Texas as they recover from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.”
With this announcement, the Week 3 plans for just one of the seven FBS teams from the state of Florida remains unresolved — Florida Atlantic, which is slated to host FCS Bethune-Cookman this weekend.