BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WATE) – LSU’s game against Florida scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the school confirmed, as Hurricane Matthew barrels toward the state.
The Southeastern Conference Office said the universities and SEC Office would work to reschedule the game later in the 2016 season if possible. However, at this point both schools don’t have a common open date.
“We had a very productive phone call today with a great spirit of cooperation between the universities’ presidents and athletics directors and it became clear that the University of Florida could neither host nor travel to a game this weekend considering the circumstances,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “The developments of the hurricane in the last 24 hours, the projected magnitude of its impact and the unknown aftermath of this storm have resulted in this decision to seek another date to play the LSU-Florida game. We have to be sensitive to the possible imminent disruption to the state of Florida and in particular the Gainesville and surrounding area.”
Before deciding to postpone the game, the SEC said they did explore other date and location options and LSU offered to either travel or host the game over the course of the weekend. Ultimately it was determined that the likelihood of damage from the storm, lack of available emergency personnel and the uncertainty of the impact of the storm on people, facilities and travel necessitated a postponement.
“The timing of this storm on a Friday and the uncertainly of its aftermath in the ensuing days make it particularly difficult to project the conditions for the remainder of the weekend as well as the opportunity for travel of teams and fans to or from Gainesville and other cities in Florida,” Sankey said. “I am appreciative of the cooperation of our universities on this matter.”
The SEC also announced the Georgia-South Carolina game originally scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Sunday with a kick-off time of 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Matthew re-strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane Thursday morning, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles an hour and moving northwest at 13 mph. The projected path of the storm has it straddling Florida’s east coast and takes its center about 100 miles east of Gainesville on Friday afternoon.
Continuing coverage: Hurricane Matthew