The Georgia Tech vs. UCF game scheduled for Saturday in Orlando won’t be played.
After Rivals.com affiliates from both schools — UCFSports.com and JacketsOnline.com — reported earlier Monday that the game was in serious jeopardy of not being played, UCF confirmed that it has indeed been canceled. UCF’s campus and Spectrum Stadium have been a staging area for hurricane recovery for the National Guard.
Heeding Governor Rick Scott’s call for public universities to assist with hurricane preparation and recovery, the University of Central Florida agreed to host up to 1,000 National Guard members and 250 vehicles on campus. That amount of personnel — in addition to the number and types of vehicles — meant that in and around Spectrum Stadium was the best place to stage recovery operations.
Therefore, the Knights’ Sept. 16 football game against Georgia Tech has been called off. The teams, American Athletic Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference explored rescheduling options. Several hundred National Guard members were expected to stage at the UCF campus starting Monday.
“We’re honored to host the National Guard and play a part in helping our community and state recover from Irma,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White. “On behalf of our student-athletes, athletics staff and fans, I promise the Knights will do everything we can to assist in recovery efforts.”
Added Georgia Tech (and former UCF) AD Todd Stansbury: “We are in complete agreement with the decision. While we’re disappointed for both teams’ student-athletes, coaches and fans, recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma should be and is the top priority for UCF and the entire state of Florida at this time. We wish them the very best in their recovery efforts and look forward to meeting on the gridiron down the road.”
Rescheduling options were explored by the teams in conjunction with the ACC and AAC.
In addition to relocating the game this weekend, Georgia Tech and UCF officials also discussed playing the game at a later date this season but those efforts proved to be impossible due to the fact that the teams do not have a mutual bye week. In addition to Saturday’s game, UCF was also forced to call off last weekend’s American Athletic Conference game versus Memphis with Hurricane Irma approaching Florida.
UCF canceled all classes starting Sept. 7 and closed campus the following day. At that point, the school “released student-athletes to return home to assist their families” with issues related to the hurricane.
“With many UCF student-athletes released to be with family through the storm, it is unclear when the entire football roster would all be able to reconvene on campus,” the school’s release said.
UCF “won’t reopen for students earlier than Sept. 14,” the university said.
UCF’s Week 2 game against Memphis was also canceled because of the storm, as were the Week 2 games for Miami, Florida, Florida State and USF. Additionally, the Miami vs. Florida State game originally scheduled for Sept. 16 has been moved to Oct. 7.
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –