The Charlotte 49ers rescheduled their college football game against Old Dominion to Thursday at 4 p.m. in Richardson Stadium in anticipation of foul weather associated with Hurricane Florence this weekend.
The game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
“A lot went into that process, it was complicated,” said 49ers athletics director Mike Hill. “These things have a way of changing in an instant, so we wanted to wait as long as possible to make a final decision.”
Two other area games were called off on Wednesday: South Carolina’s game in Columbia on Saturday against Marshall was canceled and won’t be rescheduled. Appalachian State’s game against Southern Mississippi was called off, with no decision made on whether it will be replayed.
In addition to the Charlotte-ODU game, other weather-impacted games Thursday include Boston College at Wake Forest (moved from its original start time of 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Guilford at Davidson at 7 p.m.
Charlotte’s Hill said the hope was to play the game against ODU as scheduled in what earlier in the week was forecast as a rain storm.
“You can play football in the rain,” Hill said. “But the storm took a bad turn in this area in the last 24-36 hours ... putting us in an area where we could see ... really dangerous conditions.”
Hill said Thursday was the only logical time to play the game. Weather conditions are expected to also be severe in the Charlotte area on Sunday. Also, both teams’ bye weeks are different (Charlotte’s on Oct. 6; ODU’s Nov. 3). Playing on Dec. 1 - the week after the regular season ends - isn’t an option because that’s the day of the Conference USA championship game.
Hill said the decision was made easier because the Monarchs had already traveled to Charlotte on Tuesday after much of the Norfolk, Va., area was put under mandatory evacuation. They practiced Wednesday morning at Rocky River High in Mint Hill. ODU spokesman Eric Bohannon said the Monarchs are uncertain about their travel plans after the game because the campus is closed for the week.
“On behalf of our Old Dominion football program, I want to thank Mike Hill and the Charlotte administration for keeping the safety of our student athletes and fans paramount while working with league and other officials to ensure this conference match up could be maintained despite challenging and changing inclement weather predictions,” ODU athletics director Wood Selig said in a statement.