Miami Hurricanes Cancel Game Against Arkansas State

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Fredi Knighten
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Fredi Knighten /

The impending hit that South Florida is likely to take from Hurricane Irma has led to the cancellation of the Miami Hurricanes game at Arkansas State Saturday.

The game was scheduled for Saturday in Jonesboro, Arkansas at 3:30 pm. The Miami Hurricanes were scheduled to travel to Memphis on Friday afternoon where they were scheduled to stay. They were going to take the hour bus ride to Jonesboro on Saturday.

The Hurricanes were given options to move up the game. Arkansas State and the game’s broadcast partners even were agreeable to move the game up to Friday night. UM declined.

Athletic Director Blake James consulted with University of Miami President Julio Frenk about what to do about the game. All Athletic Contests involving the University of Miami have been cancelled for this weekend.

Miami and Arkansas State do not have a mutual bye week this season. The game has been cancelled for 2017. There has been no indication if or when Miami will play their return game in Jonesboro.

Arkansas State played the first half of a contracted home and home series in 2014 at Hard Rock Stadium. When teams from the Power Five conferences play at teams from the group of five it is usually one of the biggest games in that school’s history. It would be extremely surprising for the Miami Hurricanes to not travel to Jonesboro in a future season to make the game up.

Florida Governor Rick Scott and President Frenk both declared a state of emergency ahead of Irma. Florida State moved their game time on Saturday up until noon.

James issued a statement through the University’s athletic website Hurricanesports.Com.

"“The decision to cancel these athletic contests is difficult, especially as some are scheduled to take place away from Miami…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.”"

Arkansas State Athletic Director Terry Mohair issued a statement representing the Red Wolves perspective on the game being cancelled this season.

"“Having lived in Palm Beach County for seven years, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in South Florida as they prepare for Hurricane Irma.Over the past 24 hours I had numerous exchanges with University of Miami Athletics Director Blake James, offering to make additional accommodations for his players and program to assist them with their trip to Memphis and Jonesboro. This morning I spoke with Blake (James), who informed me their team will not be making the trip to Jonesboro to play in our game this Saturday.I appreciate the Sun Belt Conference office, Commissioner Karl Benson and ESPN’s work to give us the option to move the game and broadcast to Friday night, which gave the University of Miami an alternative. Ultimately, the Miami administration made the decision not to travel.We are currently working through all the variables associated with the game not being played. We will keep the fan base and media updated as we know more.”"

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Per ESPN the other FBS teams in Florida have either moved their game time, the location or both in anticipation of Irma. The only game scheduled to be played in South Florida this weekend was Florida International hosting Alcorn State. The Golden Panthers have moved the game to Birmingham for a 6 pm ET kickoff on Friday.