Miami coach Mark Richt offered no remorse for his decision to cancel a Sept. 9 game against Arkansas State, telling reporters on Sunday that football was the least of his concerns while preparing for Hurricane Irma.
“Our No. 1 goal was safety of everybody,” Richt said as the Hurricanes returned to practice, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson. “That’s why we made the decision early not to play the game. Could we have snuck out just in time to play that game? We could have, logistically, but in the meantime, if you’re a coach and you’re putting in 12-hour days and the time that it takes to prepare for a game like that, to show the respect that you need to show to that game, then who’s helping your wife get things done?”
Miami was scrutinized by some for electing to cancel the contest entirely, rather than accepting Arkansas State’s offer to play it a day earlier. Had Miami played the game Friday, the team could’ve conceivably returned to Coral Gables and still had enough time to get out of the city before Irma swept through.
“The thing that was kind of the deciding factor for me was, I didn’t want to have a team in Memphis or Arkansas while all heck is breaking loose with everybody’s family,” Richt added. “I didn’t want my players to look at me like, ‘Coach, why are we here? What are we doing here?’ Or even my staff saying, ‘What are we doing?’ I said, ‘That’s it. We’re out.'”
Miami has only played one game this season, after Irma forced the Canes to cancel the Arkansas State affair and also postpone a date with Florida State. The team will finally return to game action Sept. 23 versus Toledo.
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Source: The Score