Mids’ game at E. Carolina postponed until Nov. 19
Navy football will have an unexpected bye this week because of the lingering effects of Hurricane Matthew.
The No. 25 Midshipmen, high off a 46-40 win over previously No. 6 Houston, were scheduled to play at East Carolina in a nationally televised game Thursday night, but the game has been postponed because of concerns about flooding in the area.
Hurricane Matthew delivered a serious blow to eastern North Carolina over the weekend, leading to 20 deaths, causing widespread power outages and stranding more than 1,500 in the city of Lumberton.
Concerns about additional flooding prompted East Carolina officials to postpone the game. Navy and East Carolina will meet at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 19, when both schools had an open date. Game time and television information have not been announced.
East Carolina athletic director Oct. 22, 3:30 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Network Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM Jeff Compher said school administrators consulted with emergency management officials and decided the prudent decision was to shut down the university until at least Saturday. The impending cresting of the Tar River is expected to threaten Greenville and surrounding counties through late Saturday.
“Based on the latest information and projections we have received regarding the rising water level and subsequent adverse travel conditions in eastern North Carolina the remainder of the week, we feel it is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved,” Compher said. “We are thankful for our colleagues at the U.S. Naval Academy for their compassion and understanding to assist us with this situation.”
Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said he re- ceived a phone call from Compher early Monday morning providing notification the university was contemplating postponing the game. Gladchuk told Compher the matter was entirely in the hands of East Carolina administrators and that Navy would comply with whatever decision was made.
“Emergency officials in the region are very concerned about the rising water. The storm surge is expected to be significant, and that is a major safety issue,” Gladchuk said.
“Apparently, the surrounding areas have already suffered major devastation. To not offer our unconditional support on this issue would be ludicrous.”
Gladchuk has been on the other side of similar situations and said the host university must do whatever it deems necessary.
“You have to listen to the intelligence coming out of that particular community and use common sense,” Gladchuk said. “To not respect the concerns of the East Carolina community would be irresponsible. Our reaction is predicated exclusively on Navy’s Brandon Colon catches a touchdown pass in Saturday’s win over then-No. 6 Houston. The Mids’ game at East Carolina on Thursday night was postponed because of the threat of flooding linked to Hurricane Matthew. the position of the East Carolina administration. It goes well beyond a football game. This is an institutional matter down there.”
Compher said the eastern North Carolina region is already experiencing worsening road conditions with several detours along Route 264, the main artery into Greenville from the west.
“There are also road closures from the north and south, so we are quickly becoming a little island,” Compher said.
East Carolina students were due to return to campus from fall break Wednesday. Compher said school administrators did not want them traveling back to Greenville under such circumstances.
Adding to the travel woes is that Pitt-Greenville Airport closed indefinitely Sunday. Navy’s traveling party had been scheduled to fly into that airport.
A crowd approaching 40,000 was expected for the Thursday night game, which would have been televised nationally by ESPN. East Carolina athletic officials had dubbed it a “blackout” game, with students and fans encouraged to wear all-black clothing.