Tulane running back Jovon Jackson and his teammates have become adept at adapting during a surreal 2005 football season for the Green Wave; Hurricane Wilma has forced UCF officials to move this week's game in Orlando to Friday.
Oct. 19, 2005
DALLAS, Texas - Tulane saw its 2005 fall sports schedule disrupted by a hurricane again Wednesday when the Conference USA football between Tulane and UCF at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando was moved to Friday to avoid Hurricane Wilma. The game, originally scheduled to be played Saturday night, now will kick off at 6 p.m. (Central Time) Friday, Oct. 21. The projected path of Hurricane Wilma brings it through the central Florida area on Saturday.
"Unfortunately, we have a lot of experience in dealing with these situations," said Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson, who orchestrated the unprecedented move of Tulane student-athletes to four campuses this fall when the New Orleans area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. "Our primary concern is the safety of our student-athletes and of the fans. Playing the game Friday gives us the opportunity to still play the game and leave after the game to avoid the storm. We've been in constant communication with UCF and Conference USA officials and we're confident this plan does not compromise the safety and welfare of student-athletes from both universities."
Displaced from its New Orleans campus by Hurricane Katrina and forced to juggle its schedules and cancel games again when Hurricane Rita took aim at one of its new temporary homes in Texas, the Tulane Green Wave saw its 2005 fall sports schedule change again.
"We've learned to adjust to everything this year," said Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo. "This is just another obstacle we have to overcome. We appreciate UCF giving us the opportunity to get in and get out safely."
The UCF game is now the ninth game on the 11-game Tulane football schedule to be affected by a hurricane this season. Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans Aug. 29, first forced the postponement of Tulane's season opener with Southern Miss, originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 4, to Saturday, Nov. 26th in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Then, after the devastation in New Orleans became apparent and Tulane University decided that it would not hold classes on its campus this fall, but that the Green Wave teams would continue to compete and represent the university and the city, all six home games had to be scheduled for other stadiums. To date, Tulane has played "home" games in Shreveport (Sept. 17 vs. Mississippi State), Baton Rouge (Oct. 1 vs. Southeastern Louisiana), Lafayette (Oct. 8 vs. Houston) and Ruston (Oct. 14 vs. UTEP). The Wave's next "home" game is scheduled for Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Oct. 29 versus Marshall, while the site for the final "home" game of the season - Nov. 19 vs. Tulsa - has yet to be determined.
Tulane's Sept. 24 road football game at SMU in Dallas was also changed by a hurricane when Hurricane Rita threatened the Texas coast that weekend. The game was moved up from a 7 p.m. kickoff to a 1 p.m. start. Rita also forced the cancellation and/or postponement of four Tulane volleyball and soccer matches for the Green Wave teams stationed in College Station, Texas. The Tulane student-athletes in Texas spent the night before Hurricane Rita hit Texas sleeping in locker rooms in the underbelly of Kyle Field.
The hurricanes continue to play havoc with Tulane's pregame routine, as well. Instead of going through a "normal" road game, which would have the Green Wave flying to Orlando the day before the game and spending the night in a hotel, Tulane will fly into Orlando the morning of the game and return to its headquarters in Ruston, La. immediately following the contest. Tulane has also spent the night before "home" games on air mattresses at English Turn Golf Club in New Orleans (prior to the game in Baton Rouge) and traveled three hours by bus to Lafayette on game day (prior to the game versus Houston).
Following the UCF game, Tulane will play host to Marshall on Oct. 29 in Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Tickets for that game are on sale via Ticketmaster at www.Ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster location in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and by calling 800-488-5252. Tickets are $25 for sideline general admission seats and $10 for end zone general admission.
-- Roll Wave --