On Wednesday morning, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press broke the news that Saturday’s game between the Miami Hurricanes and Arkansas State Red Wolves had been canceled. This cancellation is due to concerns over Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm headed toward Florida.
BREAKING: Saturday's Miami at Arkansas State game is cancelled over Irma concerns. Rescheduling in 2017 is not possible.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 6, 2017
Multiple journalists subsequently confirmed this report.
Miami-Arkansas State cancelled— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) September 6, 2017
Can confirm this. Miami at Arkansas State is not being played Saturday. https://t.co/6xFN3zNT4E— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) September 6, 2017
University of Miami Athletic Director Blake James released the following statement regarding game cancellations (football, cross country, soccer and volleyball):
“The decision to cancel these athletic contests is difficult, especially as some are scheduled to take place away from Miami,” James said. “However, we made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger travelling to and from contests. As we have seen from the tragic impact of Hurricane Harvey—and from South Florida’s own experiences—the impacts of hurricanes can be devastating and long-lasting, and can make travel extremely difficult and dangerous.
“I want to thank all of our opponents for their cooperation and understanding. Our thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Irma both here in South Florida and afar. We are comforted in knowing that our community is strong and will come together, if needed, to recover from the storm.”
There are several reasons for this cancellation, as I see it:
- With the storm projected to arrive in Florida on Sunday or Monday, the team and all associated personnel could have been stranded in Arkansas. (The return travel element has been doubly reported as the foundation behind the decision to cancel this game)
- Also, the departure travel schedule would likely have been moved up as well, and anyone who deals with logistics knows that that wouldn’t have been easy.
- Many (most) of the players on this team are from Florida. Their minds would likely — and understandably — be on their families and loved ones surviving the storm, not a game of football.
This is very similar to the LSU-Florida situation from last year. But, unlike that situation, the University of Miami has gotten ahead of things and made what I believe to be the timely and prudent decision to cancel this week’s game.
As stated in Reynolds’ original tweet, there is no opening to make up this game in 2017. So, both teams lose a game from their 2017 schedule, and look to move forward.
While the Canes will not play this week, there are now 10 days until Florida State.
Cancelling the Arkansas State game was a tough decision to make, I’m sure, but the right one, if you ask me.