Lyons: No Realistic Options Left For WVU – NC State Makeup
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia Director of Athletics Shane Lyons walked through possible contingencies for getting Saturday’s game with N.C. State played, but it doesn’t appear as if there are any realistic options for this season.
“There’s a lot of input from a lot different people, and we waited as long as we could to make the decisions,” Lyons said of the announcement. “First and foremost, the safety and welfare of our student athletes and the citizens of North Carolina and what they will be facing over the next four or five days [are most important]. All indications from the weather people was that the storm was intensifying and moving directly toward the coast.
“Looking at our schedule it will be very difficult [to find another date to play the game].”
Those options were:
1) Moving the game, or making a combination of moves, that puts a game on West Virginia’s open date of Oct. 2o
Lyons shut that down immediately.
“I will not be scheduling a game on the off week. Anybody that knows football knows that I am not going to play a game on Saturday and turn around and play a game on Thursday night. That is not an option. I am trying to help our coaching staff and our student athletes be prepared each and every week, and that would not allow them to do that, especially with our [next] opponent (Baylor) having a week and a half to prepare.”
2) Playing on Dec. 1, the date of the Big 12 Championship Game
“On Dec. 3 (actually Dec. 1) I plan on being in Dallas,” Lyons said, looking ahead to a hoped-for spot in the Big 12 Championship. If neither WVU nor N.C. State made their respective championship games, there is a very slight possibility something could be worked out, but only if it would have the potential to help one or both with bowl positioning.
It also could be that unless both teams are eliminated from championship game consideration before the final weekend of the regular season, logistical considerations could prevent the game from being made up. That leaves this option, while technically feasible, as one that has very little chance of coming off.
3) Playing on Dec. 8
“The next Saturday, I think [the game] becomes irrelevant,” Lyons analyzed. “The bowl games are already made, so why play the game just to play it?
4) Flipping the home dates and playing this week in Morgantown
“We talked about it, but again, it’s logistics. You are trying to sell 60,000 tickets. You don’t have food for the concession areas, you don’t have the emergency response people on the books ready to go,” said Lyons, who has dealt with similar situations while working in the ACC office. “It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds to make it happen logistically.
“There are some schools I talked to that were in similar situations that talked about playing the game without fans. I’m not playing the game without fans. Logistically, it just could not happen.”
Additionally, there are three road races scheduled for Morgantown on the Evansdale campus next Sunday, involving the closure of a number of streets and the use of the Coliseum and its parking lots for registration all day on Saturday. Runners in those events have also taken up many lodging accommodations in the Morgantown area.
Switching the dates would also leave WVU with just five home games in 2019, with back-to-back trips to Missouri and N.C. State in weeks two and three. With an eye toward the competitive disadvantage of such a move, Lyons discarded that notion.
“It’s not just a matter of just flip-flopping the game. We need to look at our future schedule.”
5) Playing at another site
“That would be more [N.C. State’s] responsibility than ours, but it’s just not feasible,” Lyons said, listing many of the same logistical challenges as would be involved in putting the game on at WVU on short notice. There would also be additional costs to procure a venue, should one have been available.