There will not be a football Saturday this weekend.
Consistent with the wave of reconsideration sweeping college football Thursday afternoon, UW-Madison decided not to play its home football game against Western Kentucky.
Athletic Director Pat Richter and Chancellor John Wiley jointly announced the decision.
UW athletic administration will be unable to plan a makeup date with Western Kentucky officials, since the two teams’ schedules conflict the remainder of the year.
For now, all Badger events are on hold.
“In keeping with President Bush’s desire to return to normalcy, we expect to resume our athletic competitions beginning Monday,” Richter said.
Other sports organizations have also cancelled events.
At about 10 a.m., the National Football League surprised reporters by declaring it would not play its football games Sunday. Shortly after, university boards of trustees at Illinois and Michigan said those schools would not play football. The WAC also changed its mind about playing, and the SEC followed later in the afternoon.
Following a teleconference with commissioners around the country Wednesday, the Big Ten had announced its members would be permitted to hold football games this weekend. A number of other conferences opted then to postpone games out of respect and due to logistical problems stemming from Tuesday’s terrorist attacks. The Pac-10’s Tom Hartman insisted that no NCAA games be played.
Since the tragedy, no college volleyball or soccer has been played, and football games scheduled for Thursday were pushed back.
Wisconsin will not lose an opportunity for a Division I-A victory due to these cancellations. The NCAA does not count wins against I-AA schools toward a team’s Bowl eligibility.
When it appeared the Badgers would indeed play as scheduled, most players were intent on proceeding with the game. Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez said neither institution wanted to forego the game.
After Richter’s announcement Thursday the team was unavailable for comment. A release issued by the athletic department said maintaining the safety of players was a factor in the decision.
Western Kentucky reportedly stood to gain $500,000 from its appearance at Camp Randall, nearly a quarter of its football revenue for 2001.
UW has an open date Sept. 29, after it starts the Big Ten season at Penn State next Saturday, but the Hilltoppers will play at Illinois State that day. Western Kentucky’s only available Saturday for a make-up game is Nov. 3, when Wisconsin plays Iowa.