UNC's game versus the University of Florida this weekend has been canceled ahead of Hurricane Irma's arrival. The storm tracked westward Thursday afternoon, putting its path squarely up the spine of Florida.
UF plays in Gainesville, Florida, a north-central college town in the state. As the storm will hit the state when it's a powerful Category 4 storm, it's expected for hurricane conditions to affect the town.
The game will not be made up.
Scrapping the game is both good and bad for UNC: they more than likely avoided a loss, but they lost the chance to play in front of a national audience on the SEC Network.
Florida's Athletics Director said in a statement that playing a football game as Irma batters southern Florida is not the right thing to do.
"The focus of our state and region needs to be on evacuations and relief efforts," said AD Scott Stricklin. "There is a tremendous amount of stress currently on the roads of this state, and the availability of gas, water and other supplies are at critical levels."
Stricklin said he thought playing a game would only add to that stress.
Since Gainesville is along Interstate 75, one of the two interstates that go north out of the state, it will be a major traffic point as people evacuate. Gator fans come from all over the state to watch games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, meaning hosting a game would add cars to the road as many people flee.
Hurricane Irma on track to slam into the southern tip of Florida by noon Sunday. The latest information from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm several miles north of Hispaniola, the island harboring Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The storm has sustained winds of 175 mph with gusts much higher.
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