On Monday afternoon, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of parts of the state and closure of schools across the Midlands and Low Country starting Tuesday.
With the state of emergency declared and Hurricane Florence, a category 4 hurricane, headed toward the east coast, the University of South Carolina is going to have some decisions to make, especially with a home football game against Marshall on Saturday night.
Soon after McMaster finished his afternoon press conference, the USC athletic department provided an update on its plans:
“USC Athletics is currently monitoring the forecast for Hurricane Florence. The safety of everyone affected by the storm and the minimization of the impact on emergency personnel are the most important factors in making the decision. We are in communication with the National Weather Service, state and local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues. Fans can monitor any updates on USC athletics events via GamecocksOnline.com, social media and local media outlets.”
The university has canceled classes until further notice.
The Gamecocks have had to move two games in the past three years because of weather.
In 2015, heavy flooding in Columbia made the logistics of hosting a game impossible, so the game was moved to LSU. A year later, Hurricane Matthew caused enough storming in Columbia to move the Georgia game from Saturday to Sunday.
Although neither of those situations was ideal, it means South Carolina has gone through moving games before should Florence force it to do so again.
“Unfortunately we have some experience,” Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner said Saturday. “I was talking with Greg McGarity, the Georgia AD, during the game today. And I’m like, ‘You guys are a week early.’ We’ll be dealing with this, Hurricane Florence, next week.”
Coastal Carolina has already moved its game. It will be played Wednesday at Campbell.