Hur­ri­cane may or may not change plans

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Tim Reynolds

CORAL GABLES, FLA. >> Hur­ri­cane Matthew’s slow march to­ward Florida kept plenty of ma­jor col­lege foot­ball teams guess­ing about their week­end plans on Wed­nes­day, with schools still wait­ing to de­ter­mine if mov­ing or reschedul­ing games will be nec­es­sary be­cause of the mas­sive storm.

All games in­volv­ing teams from the AP Top 25 this week­end were on as sched­uled, in­clud­ing three be­ing held in ar­eas that fore­cast­ers be­lieve could deal with Matthew’s wrath in the com­ing days — No. 23 Florida State at No. 10 Mi­ami, LSU vis­it­ing No. 18 Florida and No. 25 Vir­ginia Tech at No. 17 North Carolina.

Florida said a de­ci­sion on its game would be made by 1 p.m. Thurs­day. Mi­ami and Florida State were con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor de­vel­op­ments and dis­cussing con­tin­gen­cies, just in case.

“We are hope­ful that the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Matthew will be min­i­mal and the game be­tween the Hur­ri­canes and Semi­noles will be played as planned,” Mi­ami ath­letic direc­tor Blake James said.

Also still on: the Ge­or­gia at South Carolina foot­ball game on Satur­day night, even though fore­cast­ers think Matthew could be di­rectly af­fect­ing that area of the coun­try this week­end.

“What­ever de­ci­sion is made, we’ll be ready to go,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said.

The Web.com Tour Championship, a golf tour­na­ment sched­uled to be played near Jack­sonville, Florida, was can­celed . Thurs­day’s Tampa Bay at Florida pre­sea­son NHL game was post­poned, with no reschedule date an­nounced, and with some un­cer­tainty if there would even be a chance to get that game in be­fore the reg­u­lar sea­son starts next week.

The Web.com tour­na­ment was the last chance for some golfers to se­cure their PGA Tour cards for the com­ing sea­son. It had to be called off af­ter a manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­der was posted for Jack­sonville beach ar­eas, and there’s no op­por­tu­nity for it to be made up.

“I know the play­ers who came here need­ing a good fin­ish to get their cards are very dis­ap­pointed,” Web. com Tour pres­i­dent Bill Calfee said.

In South Florida, ev­ery­thing from high school to pro events are be­ing af­fected — even be­fore the storm ar­rives.

The Mi­ami Heat, who were sched­uled to leave Fri­day for a Satur­day game in Kansas City, de­cided to in­stead de­part Wed­nes­day — for Hous­ton, where they’ll set up a tem­po­rary camp be­fore mov­ing on to the ex­hi­bi­tion matchup this week­end.

In Davie, Florida — where a hur­ri­cane warn­ing was posted — the Mi­ami Dol­phins de­cided to close their of­fices on Thurs­day, which was al­ready an off day for play­ers. The Dol­phins are sched­uled to host to Ten­nessee on Sun­day af­ter­noon, con­di­tions per­mit­ting, and Ti­tans coach Mike Mu­larkey is keep­ing a close eye on Matthew for mul­ti­ple rea­sons.

“I’m more wor­ried about a lot of fam­ily I’ve still got in the Fort Laud­erdale area,” Mu­larkey said. “That’s No. 1 for me.”

Florida State planned to fly to Mi­ami on Thurs­day evening for this week­end’s na­tion­ally tele­vised foot­ball show­down against the Hur­ri­canes. Those plans are now iffy at best, Semi­noles coach Jimbo Fisher said.

Florida At­lantic Univer­sity in Boca Ra­ton, Florida, is di­rectly in Matthew’s fore­casted path and made whole­sale changes to its sched­ules.

FAU’s foot­ball team, sched­uled to play host to Char­lotte on Satur­day, left for Tampa and will prac­tice at South Florida for the re­main­der of the week. FAU’s vol­ley­ball team also headed out of town to prac­tice, a women’s golf tour­na­ment FAU was to host in Boca Ra­ton was can­celed and events this week­end for vol­ley­ball, men’s soc­cer, soft­ball, women’s ten­nis and swim­ming were also ei­ther post­poned or called off.

Other can­ce­la­tions and sched­ule changes an­nounced Wed­nes­day re­lated to Matthew in­clude:

— Fri­day night’s Tu­lane at Cen­tral Florida foot­ball game in Orlando has been pushed back to Nov. 5.

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