Several college football games face rescheduling or cancellation this week as Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, barrels toward the Carolina coast.
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The University of North Carolina canceled its scheduled home game against the 18th-ranked University of Central Florida in Chapel Hill due to the storm’s expected landfall. Fans with tickets to the game will be automatically refunded, the school announced.
“The current forecast for both the impact and aftermath of the hurricane would require those officials to divert critical resources from what could be much more significant duties,” UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “We can't know for certain the amount of damage the storm will inflict, but the sensible decision at this time is to not play the game.”
The game is “unlikely” to be rescheduled later in the season, UCF officials said in a statement.
North Carolina State postponed its home game against West Virginia University in Raleigh, North Carolina, adding that tickets will remain valid if the schools are able to reschedule the contest for later in the season. If the game is canceled entirely, refunds will be issued. NC State’s campus will also close on Thursday and Friday.
“Emergency management resources are expected to be fully utilized and needed throughout the region, and today's decision will help give ample time to deploy those resources across the state,” NC State said.
Other schools in the area have yet to say if their games will occur as scheduled. Clemson University, which is based in South Carolina, is set to play Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon, while the University of South Carolina hosts Marshall on Saturday night.
Hurricane Florence will create a “life-threatening storm surge” along parts of the Carolina and Virginia coasts, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm currently has sustained winds of roughly 130 mph.