UF/SEC Totally Bungle Decision on LSU/Florida
Hurricane Matthew has the state of Florida in its sights. The category four storm is expected to wreak havoc on the state of Florida, skirting the coastline as it makes its way toward other states on the southeastern coast.
Florida governor Rick Scott has urged citizens on Florida's coastline to evacuate. He's issued warnings to the likes of "this will kill you," , "millions will be without power, perhaps for a long period of time." And, "the impact will be catastrophic." Scott has been urged by Louisiana Senator David Vitter to order the game be moved out of Gainesville. There has been no response.
Because, in the high church of college football, none of that matters.
It's Saturday in the Swamp, by God.
The Cathedral...er...University of Florida is in Gainesville, roughly 75 miles from the coast. And, in that high church, there's an offering of about five million dollars waiting to be collected. And that's a whole lot more important, evidently, than any old storm.
Yesterday, Florida (the University, not the state) issued a statement saying, very succinctly, "the game will not be moved from Gainesville." Interestingly enough, no one has taken responsibility for the statement. But Jeremy Foley, soon to retire, is still the Athletic Director, so the statement is going to be attributed to him.
It's a pretty arrogant statement. It's also the wrong decision.
Oh, no, no, no. We don't share this offering with others. No, we're not paying to rent a stadium. Nooooooo, this is our money.
That statement was issued late Wednesday afternoon. The statement also said kickoff time would be announced by noon, Eastern time Thursday.
And then it wasn't. Instead it was announced there would be a conference call at 2:00pm Central time to discuss it further. And then, postponed it again. Finally, the school announced at 2:50 the game has been postponed. There's no guarantee the schools will play this year, but the Universities and SEC office will look to reschedule the game "if possible".
Evidently Monsignor Foley may have gotten a call from Archbishop Greg Sankey, the high priest of the biggest cathedral of all, the SEC. And Bishop Sankey (sorry, couldn't resist) was evidently going to be the final authority here.
But where was the Archbishop yesterday, besides suggesting that games should be played at the venues in which they are scheduled? It was obvious two of the parishoners were bickering. Florida wanted the game in Gainesville, and that had a lot more to do with home field advantage. LSU was willing to host the game on short notice, as it did with the South Carolina game a year ago. Where do the Tigers fly into? Ocala? Tampa? Some other city? What about the 18-wheeler that has to travel to Tallahassee to bring all of the football equipment? Will those equipment managers be safe? Where does the team stay if there is no power anywhere? The Archbishop needed to step in yesterday morning and use his authority. There's no guarantee he would have made the right decision, but not acting sooner was certainly the wrong decision.
Especially since the game may not be played at all.
Bless me, Father for I have sinned......