UPDATED 1:35 p.m.: BOCA RATON – The FAU football team is heading to Tampa for a couple days, but the fate of the Owls’ Saturday game against Charlotte remains uncertain.
FAU Athletics Director Pat Chun said on Wednesday that the Owls are waiting until Friday to assess their options for Saturday’s football game against Charlotte. At that point forecasts have Hurricane Matthew out of the Boca Raton area.
“Right now we are in a wait-and-see mode with football,” Chun said.
The Owls canceled a couple of sporting events scheduled for the coming days, including canceling a women’s golf tournament and a men’s soccer game at Old Dominion scheduled for Saturday.
Friday’s volleyball match against Rice has been rescheduled for Tuesday at noon. The volleyball team plans to relocate to Fort Myers for the next couple of days.
Sunday’s scheduled volleyball and women’s soccer contests have not as yet been affected.
FAU coach Charlie Partridge informed the Owls at an unscheduled team meeting on Tuesday evening that they will practice on Thursday and Friday at the University of South Florida.
“USF has been kind to us so we will practice at USF the next couple days,” Chun said.
On Wednesday morning the school canceled classes for the remainder of the week starting that afternoon at 3 p.m. The Owls practiced on Wednesday morning as is their normal routine on the practice fields behind the Oxley Center. They expect to board buses and head to Tampa around 3 p.m.
Partridge said the Owls had been preparing for the possibility of a relocation for a couple of days.
“We have challenges everyday,” Partridge said. “We just have to prioritize and execute. That’s really what we’re doing right now.”
FAU began hurricane preparations at Howard Schnellenberger Field on Tuesday afternoon.
“As soon as we’re allowed back on campus on Friday we’ll do a full assessment and see where the stadium’s at and, at a certain point, we’ll make a recommendation,” Chun said. “We’ll talk to the league, we’ll talk to Charlotte and we’ll talk to (FAU President Dr. John) Kelly and make a decision on all of that.”
The unpredictability of hurricanes could still alter the timetable for a decision.
“If the forecast changes today that might impact our timetable as well,” Chun said.
Chun allowed for the potential that Saturday’s football game, scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m., could be delayed until later that evening or even rescheduled for Sunday, a possibility Chun labeled “Plan C.” Relocation of the game to Tampa or another city is also a possibility, but Chun didn’t seem to feel that option was likely.
“The logistics with officials, planes, hotels – obviously every hotel seems like it’s booked throughout the state right now – the simplest thing is to try to get this thing done in Boca in our stadium,” Chun said.