GA News: OnlineAthens - UGA and South Carolina still watching hurricane before finalizing plan

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From OnlineAthens.com
October 5th, 2016 04:13 PM

Hurricane Matthew has left school administrators with athletic events in the path of the storm scrambling to make adjustments to schedules. A determination for Georgia’s football game at South Carolina will come “hopefully in the next 24 hours,” UGA president Jere Morehead said Wednesday afternoon.
“At this point we remain hopeful that the game will be played at its normal time on Saturday evening,” Morehead said while at Georgia’s practice.
The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on the SEC Network.
“I think everybody is waiting to see where the hurricane goes and how serious its impact is on South Carolina.”
South Carolina released a statement on Wednesday night that said it anticipated "a decision about the game to be made on Thursday," but said "the game will be played in Columbia."
That followed what South Carolina executive associate athletic director Charles Bloom said earlier on 107.5 FM in Columbia the chance of the game moving out of Columbia is “very, very minimal,” according to The (S.C.) State.
He said there is a “potential” to move the game to Sunday or Monday.
Morehead said he had not heard of moving the game to a different day and didn’t want to say if he would be willing for the game to be played then.
“If the (SEC) commissioner calls me with a proposal, we’ll discuss it, but that has not yet been discussed yet,” he said. “I know they’re having some calls later this afternoon on the issue. …We have a great commissioner. He’ll work through the issues with the two schools and we’ll have a good outcome.”
South Carolina's statement said: "The safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel are the most important factors in making the decision."
The school said it is monitoring the movements of the hurricane is in communication with the National Weather Service, state and local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues.
Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner, said Wednesday night on the SEC Network: "The focus is on playing these games to the extent its possible as scheduled in the location scheduled."
Evacuations began in South Carolina from its coast in the Beaufort and Charleston areas on Wednesday afternoon for about 250,000 residents.
The University of South Carolina cancelled classes Wednesday for the rest of the week.
A Friday football game in Orlando between Central Florida and Tulane was postponed until Nov. 5. Ole Dominion moved up its football game in Norfolk, Va., with UMass to Friday night. Georgia Southern postponed weekend volleyball matches and cancelled a softball game.
A volleyball match slated for Friday in Columbia between South Carolina and Georgia was moved that day to Athens in the Ramsey Center at 7 p.m. An equestrian meet scheduled for Friday now will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. in Blythewood, S.C.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said he had stayed in touch with athletic director Greg McGarity “who has been in touch with the SEC and those things. For me, I get daily updates, really hourly updates on the weather and what’s going on with it and as to a turn hopefully for the better as far as the storm slowing down a little bit,” Smart said. “I’m keeping up to date with it because I want to be abreast of it in case it affected some kind of practice plan for today.”
The path of the storm tracked moved toward the east, but the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 p.m. statement Wednesday that “when a hurricane is forecast to take a track roughly parallel to a coastline, as Matthew is forecast to do from Florida through South Carolina, it becomes very difficult to specify impacts at any one location.”
The forecast calls for an inch of rain total Friday and Saturday with winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour on game day, but the chance of rain is 60 percent at night, according to weather.com
South Carolina played a game last year at LSU after it was forced to move due to devastating flooding in the Columbia area.
“We don’t want to do it again this year,” Bloom said.


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