The University of Florida athletic department is monitoring the status of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that is roaring toward the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the U.S. The Gators have several athletic events on the schedule this weekend, including the home-opening football game against Northern Colorado on Saturday night.
“Plenty unknown at this point, but we will work closely with UF & government officials to monitor storm,” UF athletic director Scott Stricklin wrote on his Twitter account.
Then on Tuesday night, Stricklin tweeted that UF will announce a decision Wednesday about the status of the football game after getting updated on the latest forecast for Irma. There has been talk of the kickoff possibly being moved from 7:30 p.m. to noon on Saturday.
“Met today w/campus & city officials re: hurricane. Hope is to play game in Gainesville this weekend if possible …” Stricklin wrote.
The UF soccer team has home matches scheduled against Florida State at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Sunday.
The UF volleyball team has home matches scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Last season’s Florida-LSU game in The Swamp was postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew. The decision to postpone was made after discussions between UF and the Southeastern Conference. The Oct. 8 game was rescheduled for Nov. 19 in Baton Rouge following negotiations between the two schools and the conference.
Because Northern Colorado is not an SEC school, a decision to either postpone Saturday’s game or move up the start time to earlier in the day would be made by UF. UAA officials are keeping Northern Colorado administrators updated on the storm.
“We continue working with university and government officials to monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma and determine the impact of the storm on our events in Gainesville this weekend,” said Steve McClain, Florida’s senior associate athletic director for communications. “Additionally, we are communicating with the Southeastern Conference office and keeping them updated.”