The SEC announced Thursday afternoon that the Florida-LSU game has been rescheduled for November 19 in Baton Rouge. The game originally was scheduled for last Saturday in Gainesville, but it was postponed by Hurricane Matthew.
In the release, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey credited Florida with “making concessions to move this year’s game to Baton Rouge.”
Florida AD Jeremy Foley, who is retiring at the end of the month, was not so magnanimous toward LSU’s athletic department.
“We made this decision to play the game in Baton Rouge,” Foley said. “The conference office asked us to find a solution in working with LSU, yet LSU was never a true partner in our discussions. The Southeastern Conference offered some other solutions, and the LSU administration made it clear that they were unwilling to consider other reasonable options.”
LSU AD Joe Alleva also released a statement about the announcement.
“We are happy with the decision to have our game against Florida rescheduled for November 19 in Tiger Stadium,” Alleva said. “As previously reported, it was our wish to have played the game last weekend but all options that we put on the table were declined. After extensive discussion, the University of Florida agreed to play the 2016 contest in Baton Rouge and LSU agreed to play the 2017 game in Gainesville. … I hope that we can all learn from this experience and as a league, be in a better position to deal with these situations in the future.”
While the SEC release didn’t talk about a kickoff time, Florida’s release said “the game will be played no later than 3:30 p.m. ET.”
As part of the deal, next season’s Florida-LSU game – which had been set for Baton Rouge – instead will be played in Gainesville, The 2018 game remains in Gainesville as the normal schedule rotation resumes. Thus, Florida’s home schedule next season will include games with Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida State; in addition, the Gators open the season with a neutral-site game with Michigan in Arlington, Texas.
Originally on November 19, Florida was set to play host to FCS foe Presbyterian and LSU to South Alabama. The league noted that Florida and LSU “will exercise cancellation clauses for those respective games.”
In the process, Florida loses two home games this season — the LSU game and the Presbyterian game. “Insurance payouts from the Southeastern Conference, along with other financial incentives, will cover UF’s revenue lost from the games that will not be played this year in Gainesville,” the UF release said.
The league said existing conference policy will be “revised to better define the process for completing postponed or interrupted contests and to grant authority to the Commissioner to determine the date and location of future games that may need to be rescheduled if the two involved institutions cannot mutually identify a date.”
The “SEC Commissioner’s Regulations” requires each team play all eight conference games to be eligible to compete for a division title and play in the SEC championship game. The SEC release said had the game not been rescheduled, Florida and LSU would have been ineligible to compete for the SEC title this season.
(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
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