This last week on the Fla & LSU game. Instead of managing the problem, he let It manage him. Now, it’s going to take an act of congress to get the game played. Poor leadership demonstrated here. Could’ve just played it Sunday like GA-USC or even tonight.
I understand the storm issue. We’ve had that before in,other states. I just think this was mishandled big time. I wonder if & when it it will be played.
The commish was interviewed just before half time of the A&M/Tn game, I think, and he sounded just like a kid that had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. IMO, he knows that he screwed it up and doesn’t have a clue how it will be worked out.
As someone who had to evacuate because of Matthew, I think this is a bit shortsighted. Florida was hit rather hard by the hurricane. I am not sure that law enforcement would have been available for security on Sunday in Gainesville. It takes more than teams, coaches and refs to run a football game. Columbia was not affected greatly from Matthew, other than many people from the Lowcountry staying in their hotels. All available LE, EMS and other first responders were likely needed in and around Gainesville, or at least thought to have been needed.
I think an argument to have played the game in Baton Rogue is more reasonable.
I don’t disagree with canceling the game and agree that hindsight is 20/20.
That said, they should have had a plan in place before canceling it. Schedule it for Sunday or today. Go ahead and schedule it for the date late in the year that they both have our of conference games and tell them “you have to do this.” I would have gone for scheduling it for either Sunday or Monday and then, if things were so bad you couldn’t play it on that date, then cancel it. No harm in trying to play it Sunday or today and then saying “we can’t.”
I have no problem at all with them postponing the game. That’s the reasonable decision. But setting a backup plan for Sunday or Monday night would have made sense. The hurricane was forecast to hit Fla on Friday morning. Anything after that was further north and a greater threat to GA & SC than Fla. Yet those two schools postponed the game just a day. Had it come ashore near Gainesville & caused enough damage to interfere, cancellation was still an option. No one would’ve questioned such a decision, but making a preliminary decision to postpone merely a day or two with the option to postpone further seems much more reasonable to me.
Gainesville is about 75 miles from the east coast. Insurance people will tell you that Gainesville has a “hurricane score” of zero. They were not worried about the storm hitting there. They were concerned about having state police support for game day.
According to ESPN, LSU offered to either play in Baton Rouge or fly in and out of Gainesville on Sunday. I understand why Florida wouldn’t want to play in Louisiana…but turning down the Sunday game doesn’t make much sense. At first, it was thought they canceled too early. Now, the optics are that Florida was being obtuse in their efforts to play.
I’m no legal expert and don’t know SEC rules, but I wonder if the Commish has any authority to force anyone to play a game if they don’t want to. Dates and locations, etc. are up to the schools when something like this happens as far as I can tell…and the Commish has no power to force a solution. Sure, he can encourage and facilitate, but I don’t think there’s much else he can do…
Some body is going to have to throw several million bucks LSU’s way for this to happen. It is going to be pretty hard for the commissioner to effectively fine LSU the cost of paying the cancellation fee for its game and then giving up another $ 3.5M or more from the lost net revenue from that game. I’m not sure he has the authority to do it, and I’m not sure the rest of the conference would agree to punish LSU for Florida’s weather problems.
Florida has already lost that home revenue one way or another, as it would be pretty much impossible for it to re-schedule two games this late in the year. It is only going to lose $500k more if it buys out Presbyterian for the November 19th game, so it is much easier for them to hold their ground and try to get the game played on the 19th.
Neither CBS or ESPN has a contractual obligation to help LSU out. The only way I see LSU getting some relief and agreeing to spend/lose the money to play the game in Gainesville is if the conference comes in and writes them a big check for at least most of their lost revenue. The commissioner would have to do some pretty heavy persuasion to get that done, as it probably would mean a one year “tax” on shares of the conference media revenue pool. Convincing each of the other schools to take a cut of say $300-400K will be a tough sell.