NC schools monitoring Hurricane Matthew ahead of college football games

With UNC, NC State, Duke and Wake Forest at home this Saturday, all four schools bracing for Hurricane Matthews potential impact.

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
The stands at Carter-Finlay Stadium will be empty when NC State and Wake Forest play there on Sept. 19 (NSJ file photo)

While UNC Charlotte and East Carolina are playing away from home this weekend, all four ACC schools in the state are scheduled for home football games on Saturday. According to projections of Hurricane Matthew, a potentially devastating Category 4 storm, North Carolina could be in its path over the weekend.The track has shifted multiple times throughout the last several days, but it is expected to make landfall in N.C. by Friday night or Saturday. Due to those projections, ACC officials met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a contingency plan.”The conference and its institutions continue to monitor the weather forecast for this weekend’s games,” the ACC stated in a release. “Every effort will be made to play the games as long as the safety of players, teams and fans is not compromised.”To date, no decisions have been announced on Saturday’s games following the meetings. Following the initial meetings, the ACC said it will reconvene on Thursday to revisit potential weather plans.As for individual plans from schools, NC State, Wake Forest and North Carolina have all issued statements about their current plans for Saturday’s games.Wake Forest is scheduled to face Syracuse in Winston-Salem at 7 p.m. While projections show Matthew making landfall in N.C., Wake Forest associate athletic director of communications Steve Shutt is simply evaluating options at this point.”The models we’ve seen don’t show the storm coming inland,” Shutt said. “It’s supposed to turn out to sea. We’ll monitor it and, if the models change, we’ll evaluate our options. … The only way the game will be postponed or cancelled is if there is a threat to the safety and well-being of our fans or our student-athletes.”Meanwhile, both NC State and UNC are scheduled for games earlier in the afternoon. NC State faces off with Notre Dame at noon while the Tar Heels host Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m.”We are continuing to monitor the forecast for Hurricane Matthew and the potential impact this storm has on our state and the upcoming athletic events in Chapel Hill,” UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said. “North Carolina athletic department officials participated in a conference call with the ACC on Tuesday and we will continue conversations with the league throughout the week. We will make every effort to play the Virginia Tech football game at its scheduled time and location, but all options are under consideration. The safety of our students, staff and fans is our top priority.”NC State’s game against Notre Dame is scheduled to be on ABC with the 50th anniversary of Carter-Finley Stadium celebration. While no contingency plan has been announced from the university, NC State Associate Athletics Director of Communications and Marketing Fred Demarest ruled out Friday as an option due to the Carolina Hurricanes home game at PNC Arena on that date.”We are monitoring the path and potential impact of weather in our region this weekend due to Hurricane Matthew,” NC State officials said in a release. “While we will make every effort to play our much-anticipated game with Notre Dame this Saturday as scheduled, the safety of both teams and our patrons is our first priority. We had a conference call this afternoon with the