Florida Gators' Northern Colorado game canceled
The Florida Gators' home game against Northern Colorado has been canceled because of Hurricane Irma.
"We have been in constant communication this week with University and government officials," athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement released by UF on Thursday evening.
"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."
Here's a comment from UF coach Jim McElwain: "When you look at the impact this event could have, you have to sit back and realize what's really important in life. In this case, we're doing everything we can to help facilitate with what may occur. We've got a lot of kids whose families are in the state of Florida and down south. Our thoughts are with their families, first responders and any individual that may be impacted."
UF had moved the kickoff from 7:30 p.m. to noon. The Gators had been working with Northern Colorado to get a charter flight to Gainesville on Friday instead of flying commercially into Tampa on Thursday.
The teams don't share an open date, so the game won't be rescheduled. It's the second year in a row UF has had to cancel a game because of weather; Hurricane Matthew caused the LSU game to be rescheduled, eventually leading to the cancelation of a non-conference game against Presbyterian.