State college football programs closely monitoring Hurricane Florence

Campbell has already rescheduled its game against Coastal Carolina; UNC, NC State considering their options

Map shows probable path of Hurricane Florence (AP graphics)

  Campbell announced Monday that its football game against Coastal Carolina, originally scheduled to be played Saturday in Conway, S.C., has been moved in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

  The game will now be played on Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Buies Creek, at the Camels’ Barker-Lane Stadium. Admission and parking are free. A live video stream will be available for Wednesday afternoon’s game with updates both before and during the game available at and @GoCamelsFB on Twitter.

  With Florence having been upgraded to a Category 4 storm by the National Hurricane Center with an expected landfall in the vicinity of Wilmington late Thursday night or early Friday morning, officials at both schools decided that the change was needed to ensure the safety of the players, fans and others attending the game.

  “Over the past 36 hours of discussion, playing the contest here at Campbell became the best option for all parties involved,” Campbell athletic director Bob Roller said in a statement. “Our university staff and community are well-equipped to turn around a game of this significance on short notice and we can stay well ahead of the pending weather.”

  The Campbell-Coastal Carolina game is likely the first of many games to be affected by Florence, which forecasts suggest might linger over the East Coast for several days, causing major flooding throughout the region.

  Officials at North Carolina and NC State have both issued statements indicating that they are “closely monitoring” the weather situation as it develops. The Tar Heels are slated to play Central Florida at noon in Chapel Hill on Saturday with the Wolfpack taking on West Virginia at 3:30 in Raleigh.

  Both teams played their games as scheduled two seasons ago during the teeth of Hurricane Matthew, receiving criticism for doing so. On that occasion, the decision to play the games was made by the ACC. Because both of Saturday’s games are against nonconference opponents, the schools are at liberty to make their own calls.

  According to a UNC spokesman, several options are being considered in case their school’s game can’t be played on Saturday. Among them are delaying the game until Sunday or moving it to another location, either at UCF of a neutral site.

  UNC issued the following statement about the situation:

  “The University of North Carolina Department of Athletics staff will make decisions about the September 15th home football game against Central Florida and other athletic events based on consultation with the appropriate state, local and campus authorities. Decisions will be based on the safety of the teams, officials, fans and others traveling to attend the game.”

  State issued a similar statement, adding that West Virginia’s “ability to safely travel to Raleigh on Friday as planned will be one of a number of considerations this week” and that “the safety and well-being of fans, student-athletes and event staff is always paramount.”

  Duke is scheduled to play at Baylor on Saturday and shouldn’t be affected by the storm. East Carolina is at Virginia Tech, which issued a statement saying that any decisions on the game would not come until later in the week.

   Wake Forest’s home game against Boston College on Thursday night is expected to be played before the storm hits.