The impending arrival of Hurricane Florence as led Liberty to move its football game against Norfolk State.
The game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, and now will be played Saturday, December 1st at 2 p.m. The game will still be played at Williams Stadium, and all tickets sold for the September 15th matchup will be valid for the game on December 1st. This is provided that Norfolk State has not qualified for the FCS playoffs.
“The decision to postpone the game was based on student-athlete, staff and fan safety,” stated Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw via a school release. “We look forward to hosting Norfolk State on Dec. 1.”
Norfolk State University and much of the areas around Norfolk, Va., have been placed on a mandatory evacuation order due to the threat of flooding. Norfolk State has cancelled all classes starting at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The university will officially close at 5 p.m. today and will not reopen until Monday, Sept. 17.
“Our prayers go out to the first responders that will be responding to (the hurricane), and obviously all the families and people throughout the coast” Coach Gill said. “I think (cancelling the game) is the right decision when we start talking about safety, and we talk about the things that’s going to be taking place over the next 2 or 3 or 4 days.”
The Norfolk State game was to serve as Liberty’s Hall of Fame Weekend. Liberty Athletics will now celebrate its 10th Athletics Hall of Fame class during next weekend’s football game against North Texas. The Hall of Fame banquet will be held on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and the five-member Hall of Fame class will be honored during Liberty’s 6 p.m. contest against North Texas inside Williams Stadium.
Liberty is scheduled to pay Norfolk State $300,000 for the game against an FCS opponent, NSU’s only buy game against an FBS team this season.
There had been rumors circulating that Liberty and Nebraska could possibly meet later this season with the Cornhuskers game against Akron on September 1st being postponed due to weather. Both the Flames and Nebraska have the same open date – October 27th – and the obvious connection between Turner Gill and the Nebraska football program. If the Norfolk State game had been cancelled, it would have made even more sense for the rumored Nebraska-Liberty game to come to fruition.
“Mickey Guridy did have one conversation with representatives from Nebraska,” McCaw said. “What I understand is they are doing essentially the same thing as us. They are moving their Akron game to the weekend of December 1st, conditional upon some postseason scenarios. Those discussions really didn’t materialize.”