Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 154

Colleges

The Univ. of Virginia's home football game against Ohio Univ. on Saturday has been moved to Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville due to the "potential threat from Hurricane Florence," according to Sam Blum of the Charlottesville DAILY PROGRESS. The game, which was originally slated to kick off at 3:00pm ET in Charlottesville, "will now be played" at 4:30pm (3:30pm CT local time in Nashville). Tickets for Saturday's game "will be refunded if they were purchased" through the UVA ticket office. Admission to the game in Nashville "will be free." This means UVA will "lose a guaranteed home game" against Ohio (Charlottesville DAILY PROGRESS, 9/12). Vanderbilt AD David Williams said that the school was "working with representatives" from UVA and Ohio to "accommodate their needs" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/12). Holbrook & Nakos of Ohio's student-run newspaper THE POST note the school is "set to make $650,000" for playing in the game. The contract for the game, which was signed in '14, states that in the "event of natural disaster, national emergency or government action preventing the game from being played, neither party should be held liable for failure to comply or failure to appear" (THEPOSTATHENS.com, 9/12). 

CAN'T BEAT MOTHER NATURE: West Virginia AD Shane Lyons said that finding a date to make up Saturday's cancelled football game against N.C. State "would be difficult." Lyons: "Looking at our dates, Oct. 20 I will not be scheduling a game on our off week. Anybody that knows football knows I'm not going to play a game Saturday then turn around and play a game on Thursday night." Lyons also "ruled out the idea of flipping the series" with N.C. State due to the storm -- bringing them to Morgantown "this weekend, then having the Mountaineers visit Raleigh" during the '19 season. Lyons said, "You're trying to sell 60,000 tickets, you don't have food for the concession areas, you don't have the emergency response people on the books ready to go. It's a lot more difficult than it sounds, logistically, to make things happen that way" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL, 9/12). Meanwhile, UCF officials said that they "planned to discuss potentially rescheduling" Saturday's football game against North Carolina after it was cancelled due to the hurricane. However, both schools "do not share a bye week and it would be difficult for them to face off later in the year without adversely impacting both teams" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/12).

TAKE NO CHANCES: ESPN's Trey Wingo said canceling the games "stinks because you want to play the games and you want to make sure the kids get all their opportunities, but there are real logistical factors here that are very hard to work around" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 9/12). ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "This is a big, bad, dangerous storm and you don't take risks. You get people out of the way. Folks are being evacuated" ("PTI," ESPN, 9/11).

STILL LOOKING FOR AN OPPONENT: In Des Moines, Tommy Birch noted Iowa State football's attempt to "gain another opponent" after its season-opening cancellation against South Dakota State has "gotten more difficult." Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard said that a "series of waivers the school submitted to the NCAA's Football Issues Oversight Committee were shot down." It "hasn't been easy trying to find an FCS opponent that is either free or has only 11 games on its schedule." FCS teams can "only play 11-game schedules." Pollard said Drake was their "first preference." However, Iowa State would have "needed a waiver" to play Drake, a member of the Pioneer Football League, a "non-scholarship conference." Pollard said that waiver was "shot down." He added that they also "submitted a waiver so that one of the 19 FCS teams free on Oct. 20 could get an extra game added to their schedule." That was "also denied" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 9/11).

Williams said he was planning to resign last summer but the administration convinced him to stay one more year
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Vanderbilt AD David Williams announced his resignation yesterday, and his replacement will face the "challenge of growing a shrinking fan base, marketing a football program in a growing city and upgrading Vanderbilt's aging football stadium -- a looming issue throughout Williams' tenure," according to a front-page piece by Adam Sparks of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Williams, who will remain on the job until his replacement is found, said of the school's next AD, "They have to understand what Vanderbilt means and who Vanderbilt is, and don't compromise those values." Williams' 15-year tenure was "successful in many areas, but he struggled to raise funds to renovate Vanderbilt's football stadium." Academically, Vanderbilt's student-athletes "ranked among the best in the nation." But Williams' feats have "not completely overshadowed Vanderbilt's lack of progress in rehabilitating its football stadium." Vanderbilt has "not renovated its stadium" since '81. Williams said that he initially "planned to resign last summer." He said that his 10-year contract, which began in '08, "expired on June 30, 2018, but the Vanderbilt administration convinced him to stay one more year during the search for his replacement" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/12). The school plans to "immediately begin its search for a successor" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/11).

WHAT COMES NEXT: Vanderbilt Chancellor Nick Zeppos said of the plan to find Williams' successor, "The first thing I wanted to do is get David's input, listen to my coaches, listen to my student athletes, listen to our fan base, listen to our alumni group and really take a pause and moment of reflection." Zeppos: "We won't miss a beat with the program, particularly with David still, kind of, in the big chair, but I want to listen, I want to learn." Williams said he has not "figured out all the things I'm going to do, but I'm going to be around" ("The Paul Finebaum Show," ESPN Radio, 9/11).

TRUE PIONEER: THE UNDEFEATED's Martenzie Johnson noted Williams was the "first black athletic director" in SEC history. He was "instrumental in helping further break the color barrier in the SEC," hiring football coaches James Franklin in '10 and Derek Mason, who replaced Franklin, making Vanderbilt the "first SEC school to hire multiple black football coaches." The departure of Williams "leaves just one black athletic director in the SEC: Auburn's Allen Greene." Williams' retirement will also bring the number of black ADs in the D-I FBS "down to 12" (THEUNDEFEATED.com, 9/11).