Butch Jones is likely going to be angry.
During an appearance on Culotta & The Fan on ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva was adamant that after being postponed, the Tigers’ road game against Florida won’t be played this season.
“The game is not going to happen at this point,” Alleva said bluntly.
Later on, LSU’s athletic director shed some light on what had transpired over the past week, including the Florida brass’ confidence that the game in Gainesville, Fla., was going to go on as planned — until Thursday — and LSU’s attempt to play on Sunday or in Baton Rouge.
“First of all, us here in Louisiana all understand how devastating a hurricane can be,” he said. “We’re talking about a football in a stadium. Safety has got to be the No. 1 issue. From the very beginning, I brought up safety and what happens if the hurricane becomes real bad. They (Florida) was very confident on Tuesday and Wednesday we were going to play the game. ‘We’re going to play the game and it’s not going be a problem.’
“Then yesterday, from the early morning, it fell apart. They said we couldn’t play the game. That’s the way it transpired. It’s as simple as that. LSU made every effort to play the game from offering for them to come here to offering to go there, having our young men get up very early Sunday morning to fly to Florida and play the game then fly home. My only point here: I have a lot of respect for Florida, for the (SEC) commissioner. My point is that LSU tried everything to get the game in. We would have done anything to get the game in … anything.”
The glaring option for LSU and Florida are non-conference tilts scheduled for Nov. 19. Florida plays Presbyterian while LSU hosts South Alabama.
ESPN’s Bret McMurphy reported that LSU officials refused Florida’s attempt to reschedule the SEC game for Nov. 19. For what it’s worth, LSU would have to pay South Alabama $1.5 million to cancel the game, in addition to the lost revenue from a home game in Tiger Stadium.
Florida offered to play LSU on Nov. 19 & cancel Presbyterian game, but LSU refused, source told @ESPN. LSU hosts South Alabama on Nov. 19
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) October 6, 2016
Alleva steadfastly denied that anyone from Florida had proposed such an offer.
“No one has contacted me,” Alleva said of the ESPN report. “It’s a flat-out lie. That’s an example of terrible journalism. They didn’t call me; they just tweeted out that garbage. It’s an absolute lie. It’s another example of someone trying to get clicks on their websites.”
While a Florida-LSU game in 2016 is becoming less likely with each passing day, Alleva is still contemplating options for rescheduling. After all, it could impact the division races in both the SEC East and West, where tiebreaker scenarios favor winning percentages and head-to-head records.
That would put LSU in the less desirable position of being short one conference game.
Nonetheless, Alleva did not exhibit much confidence about a game time opening up.
“The scenarios I see down the road would require some serious changing in the schedule,” he said. “I think it’s going to be very difficult. Very difficult.”
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