More potentially devastating weather is headed for the United States, as meteorologists expect Category 5 storm Hurricane Irma to approach mainland Florida by Sunday morning. That’s an obvious problem for college football programs in Florida who had games scheduled for Saturday, when the bad weather will begin setting in.
On Wednesday morning, Miami announced it had canceled its game at Arkansas State due to travel concerns and would not reschedule it this season because they do not share mutual bye weeks. That’s a big missed opportunity for a team The Comeback’s staff picked to finish second in the Sun Belt. The Red Wolves took Nebraska to the wire in Week 1 as well.
Although playing the game Saturday was out of the question, Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir had ESPN and the Sun Belt on board to move the game up to Friday and play before the storm. That’s how Central Florida and Memphis handled their game in Orlando this week.
But Miami athletic director Blake James declined that option, leaving Mohajir frustrated.
James noted Ark. State is "frustrated" by decision.
No. 16 Miami was the highest-ranked opponent Red Wolves have ever hosted.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) September 6, 2017
Here’s Mohajir’s full statement, via College Football Talk:
“Having lived in Palm Beach County for seven years, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in South Florida as they prepare for Hurricane Irma.
Over the past 24 hours I had numerous exchanges with University of Miami Athletics Director Blake James, offering to make additional accommodations for his players and program to assist them with their trip to Memphis and Jonesboro. This morning I spoke with Blake (James), who informed me their team will not be making the trip to Jonesboro to play in our game this Saturday.
I appreciate the Sun Belt Conference office, Commissioner Karl Benson and ESPN’s work to give us the option to move the game and broadcast to Friday night, which gave the University of Miami an alternative. Ultimately, the Miami administration made the decision not to travel.
We are currently working through all the variables associated with the game not being played. We will keep the fan base and media updated as we know more.”
This is a big missed opportunity for Arkansas State, but ultimately it’s just football. Like everyone else in Florida, Miami just wants to make sure its players are safe.