Four more games — Northern Colorado at Florida, Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State, Memphis at UCF and USF at UConn — have been canceled due to Hurricane Irma.
Florida initially moved its game against Northern Colorado from 7:30 p.m. to noon but announced Thursday that the game has now been canceled because of the storm.
The teams do not share a common bye week, so the game will not be rescheduled.
“We have been in constant communication this week with University and government officials,” Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “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.
“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.
“Gainesville is also close to some of Florida’s heaviest traffic points this week, specifically Interstate 75, which is a key statewide evacuation route.”
Added Northern Colorado AD Darren Dunn: “The safety and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans have been of the utmost concern during our ongoing communications with the University of Florida officials. Our thoughts and well wishes are with the university and whole state of Florida during what is expected to be a difficult next few days.”
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Florida State said Thursday night that its game vs. Louisiana-Monroe would be canceled.
ALL FSU ATHLETICS EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND ARE CANCELLED INCLUDING SATURDAY’S FOOTBALL GAME. Info: https://t.co/LxTBNwNzSa for
— Florida State Univ. (@floridastate) September 8, 2017
Shortly before FSU’s announcement, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered the closure of all public schools in anticipation of the hurricane.
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An article on the UCF site said it wasn’t immediately clear if the game would be made up.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we agree that the game should not be played on Friday,” UCF athletic director Danny White and Memphis Athletic Director Tom Bowen said in a statement “We agree with Governor Scott that preparation for Hurricane Irma should be the top priority for the state. While our fans will no doubt be disappointed, we know they understand that safety has to come first.”
Per the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Memphis flew to Orlando on Thursday and flew back to Memphis later that night.
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Like the Florida-Northern Colorado game, USF’s game at UConn was initially moved up to a 10:30 a.m. kickoff before the two sides opted not to play the game on Thursday.
“The football game between USF and UConn scheduled for Saturday will not be played this week due to the severe threat posed to the state of Florida by Hurricane Irma, its impediment to the safe travel of the USF team, and consideration for the players and family members in Florida,” USF said in a news release.
“As I noted in my comments yesterday, the safety and well-being of our students, staff and coaches is our paramount concern,” said USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan. “Several large areas of the state are under evacuation orders, including portions of the Tampa Bay area. After consultation with university leadership and outside agencies, I believe it is not appropriate for our team to travel at this time.”
“I want to extend our gratitude to the University of Connecticut and the American Athletic Conference for their compassion and understanding. Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by the hurricane.”
UConn AD David Benedict said the school was certainly disappointed to lose a home game, but realized the threat the storm presents.
“Obviously we are disappointed for our team and our fans at the cancellation of a home game,” Benedict said. “Our thoughts are with USF and all of the areas in the path of this storm. We wish them all the best as they deal with this terrible storm and are here ready to assist in any way that we can.”
Added UConn head coach Randy Edsall: “I know both our team and USF were excited about a chance to play this weekend. We certainly are disappointed, but clearly understand that this is something totally out of everyone’s control. I hope that Coach Strong, his team and the entire community impacted by this storm remain safe and know that we are thinking about them as they deal with this.”
It is not immediately known if the game — an AAC game — will be rescheduled. The AAC’s statement, in full, is below:
The scheduled football game between USF and UConn, which had been slated for Saturday morning, will not be played as scheduled as a result of continuing concerns related to Hurricane Irma.
The game was originally scheduled for noon ET this Saturday and was since adjusted for a 10:30 a.m. start time in an effort to allow the USF travel party enough time to return to Tampa. The continued path and timing of the storm, however, made travel from Florida an untenable endeavor this week.
There are now four games that have been canceled because of Irma. Miami previously canceled its trip to Arkansas State citing travel concerns.
Several other teams made changes to its schedule. UCF’s game against Memphis was moved to Friday evening and USF’s game at UConn was moved up to 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Additionally, Florida International’s game against Alcorn State and Georgia Southern’s matchup with New Hampshire were both moved to Birmingham, Alabama. FIU will play on Friday evening while Georgia Southern’s game takes place on Saturday afternoon.
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
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