BOCA RATON – FAU will announce on Wednesday morning whether it intends to cancel classes for the remainder of the week but is not in a rush to make a decision about Saturday’s football game.
A source tells OwlAccess.com that a final decision regarding possible postponement or cancellation of the football game probably won’t come until Friday when any damage or other issues caused by the storm can be assessed.
Late Tuesday afternoon FAU sent an email to its students that read:
“FAU is monitoring Hurricane Matthew. A decision on the status of all FAU campuses for later this week will be made by Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m.”
Wednesday morning’s announcement could only affect a couple of days or could cover the remainder of the school week. Cancellation of classes does not prohibit FAU teams, including football, from practicing on those days.
FAU usually holds a two-hour practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, and then holds a walk-through on Friday prior to a Saturday game.
The Owls are already considering canceling or rescheduling events, or adjusting travel plans for some of the other sports scheduled to play this week.
FAU’s women’s golf team is scheduled to host a three-day tournament beginning on Wednesday that will likely be interrupted, at the very least.
The Owls’ cross country teams are scheduled to participate in a meet in Tallahassee on Friday but may have to leave campus earlier than originally planned to avoid inclement weather. The Owls’ men’s soccer team plays at Jacksonville on Tuesday and at Old Dominion on Saturday, which could put them once again in the path of Matthew. The women’s swim team is also scheduled for a meet in Jacksonville on Saturday.
Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm south of Cuba as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, is expected to be out of the area well before Saturday’s kick-off. Palm Beach County has been under a Hurricane Watch since Tuesday morning. Palm Beach County residents can expect to begin feeling hurricane force winds late Thursday afternoon.
The decision as to whether to play on Saturday will likely be based on any damage to the area from Matthew and whether resources will be available to work the game.
FAU football is scheduled to kick off against Charlotte in a Conference USA battle at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
An FAU spokesperson said on Tuesday that the athletic department is monitoring Matthew and would provide an update on Wednesday, with Athletics Director Pat Chun fielding questions from the media.
A Conference USA spokesman said the conference office is also keeping an eye on South Florida, saying, “It’s a situation we’re continuing to monitor.”
Both FAU and Charlotte enter Saturday’s game with 1-4 records, 0-1 in C-USA. Should FAU be forced to postpone the game, there is no obvious available make-up date.
FAU has its lone by week on Oct. 22. Charlotte is playing Marshall that week and is off the following week.
Visiting teams usually fly to the host city on the afternoon before the game, but it’s not unprecedented for a team to arrive in the city, play the game, and return home all in the same day. FAU did exactly that for a game against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2005 when refugees from Hurricane Katrina packed local hotels, making an overnight stay in the area impossible.