- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2001

This weekend's slate of college football games could be postponed following yesterday's terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
According to ACC assistant commissioner Brian Morrison, tomorrow night's Division I-A games (Penn State at Virginia and Ohio at N.C. State) will be postponed. And commissioners from the major-college conferences spoke via conference call yesterday and are expected to speak again today to discuss their options for the 114 Division I-A games scheduled Friday and Saturday.
The week's three highest profile games are still scheduled to take place in Florida, where No. 1 Miami plays host to No. 13 Washington, No. 2 Florida plays host to No. 8 Tennessee and No. 6 Florida State plays host to No. 10 Georgia Tech.
"There has been no decision made yet as to the football game on Saturday," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said after the call yesterday. "It is a situation we will continue to monitor, and we will make a decision sometime on Wednesday… . In all probability, it's a national conversation that involves not only college football but professional sports as well."
Most likely, the major college conferences will wait for the NFL to make its decision whether to play Sunday before making their determinations. After all, it would look unseemly for the major college leagues to proceed with their Friday-Saturday schedule if the NFL decides to cancel its Sunday games. NFL spokesman Joe Browne said yesterday the league will not make its decision until this afternoon at the earliest.
Even if the NFL decides playing this weekend would be appropriate, the college games could still be postponed simply because of the logistics involved in transporting more than 50 teams and roughly 4,000 players to locations all around the nation in the currently fragmented travel climate.
"We sit here thinking that it puts a lot less importance on Saturday," first-year Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said yesterday. "You say to yourself, 'Who's going to be getting on airplanes to go play each other right now?' All of that races through your mind."
Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese speculated that the final decision whether to play could rest with the federal government. The government most likely will determine whether teams should travel by air and crowds ranging from about 35,000 to more than 100,000 should gather at stadiums nationwide.
"It may be out of our hands," Tranghese said. "There are a lot of issues, emotional ones. Kids flying, playing in large venues with a lot of people, and if the government says do something, we do it."
Locally, virtually all sports activities were postponed at area colleges and universities. Those postponements didn't translate into complete inactivity, however. Maryland's football team, scheduled to play host to West Virginia on Saturday, did not cancel yesterday's practice. And its golf team played in South Carolina yesterday. It was scheduled to fly home but will return by bus.
The women's soccer team at George Mason, which had its game today against Villanova canceled, voted to spend its allotted practice time yesterday donating blood at Fairfax Hospital in an attempt to aid the shortage in the area and New York City.


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