NCAA changes mind, postpones Saturday games

· Sep 14, 2001 Tweet

College football officials in most major conferences reversed their decisions to play games Saturday in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on the United States. On the heels of the NFL’s decision Thursday to call off its Week 2 schedule, all Division I-A games have been postponed.

Two of the biggest factors in the reversal were the decision of the rest of the sports world — most prominently the NFL — to postpone their games, and the logistical problems in trying to get teams and personnel to game locations.

SEC school presidents were among those who changed their minds Thursday, and their teams will not play football games this weekend. One of the most anticipated matchups of the year — Tennessee vs. Florida — will not take place, at least not Saturday.

“In obviously what is one of the toughest times in American history, decisions are very, very tough to make,” LSU athletics director Skip Bertman said. “We support the Southeastern Conference’s decision to not play and we hope to make this game up at a later date.”

Plans for a makeup date for the LSU-Auburn game have yet to be determined. Fans are asked to hold on to their tickets until further details about the game are announced.

Vanderbilt-Ole Miss was among the other SEC games postponed on Thursday. The Bowling Green at South Carolina game was postponed earlier because Bowling Green couldn’t guarantee that it could travel.

The Western Athletic Conference was the first to alter its plans Thursday by postponing four games involving its teams. The Big 12, MAC and MWC all followed by announcing they would also postpone their teams’ games.

WAC commissioner Karl Benson told ESPN.com that the four games — Tulsa at Big 12 member Oklahoma, Louisiana Tech at Big 12 Kansas State, the Big West’s Utah State at Fresno State and the Big 12’s Texas Tech at UTEP — were all postponed. The Utah St.-Fresno St. game was rescheduled for Dec. 1.

Other WAC teams — SMU at North Carolina, Central Michigan at Boise State, Rice at Nebraska and Hawaii at Nevada — had their games postponed Wednesday.

The change in opinion came after an emergency call with the WAC’s board of directors Thursday morning.

Other Saturday games recently postponed in a change of heart are Kentucky at Indiana, Louisville at Illinois and Western Kentucky at Wisconsin.

“Our original decision to host the football game Sept. 15 was based on the best information available at the time. As we’ve moved into uncharted waters of a very difficult situation, the event we were planning to hold to help unify the communities was not possible,” Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther said in a statement Thursday.

The Sun Belt also reconsidered on some games, with Louisiana-Lafayette at Central Florida and New Mexico State at New Mexico both postponed to Nov. 24, and Louisiana-Monroe at Cincinnati postponed indefinitely.

The Arizona State-UCLA Pac-10 game that had been scheduled Saturday night at the Rose Bowl will be played Dec. 1. The game was postponed Tuesday afternoon.

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This article was published Sep 14, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 14, 2001 at 12:00 am

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