ATHENS — University of Georgia president Jere Morehead is still hoping that the football game will take place at South Carolina as scheduled on Saturday night. But he’s just waiting to find out like everyone else.
“I think everybody’s waiting to see where the hurricane goes, and how serious it’s impact is on South Carolina,” Morehead said, while attending the Georgia football team’s practice on Wednesday afternoon. “But I would anticipate in the next 24 hours that’ll become much more obvious.”
The decision ultimately may come down to the SEC office, Morehead indicated. There are some calls later this afternoon on the status of the game, he added.
“I honestly can’t tell you what the rule is in terms of who makes the final decision in that regard,” Morehead said. “But I have every confidence, we have a great commissioner, he’ll work through these issues with these two schools, and we’ll have a good outcome.”
The thinking around the Butts-Mehre building on Tuesday was that a decision would come in the next 24 hours, and that moving to the Georgia Dome was a real possibility. But several sources also said that South Carolina was keen on playing the game in Columbia and wanted to monitor the track of the storm, and it did indeed track back out east overnight.
South Carolina associate athletics director Charles Bloom said in a radio interview Wednesday that there was a “very, very minimal” chance the game would be moved from Columbia. But Bloom added that moving it to Sunday or Monday if need be “definitely has the potential of happening.”
“In a perfect world, you would want the game to be played as it’s scheduled,” Bloom said. “You plan on that until you can’t. Do we have enough police? Can we get the teams in here? Are we risking the safety of our fans getting to our stadium? How is the weather going to look at kickoff? You hope you can play in Columbia. That’s the No. 1. You don’t want to move it to another venue. We went through that last year. We don’t want to do it again this year.”
South Carolina would seem more welcoming to moving the game to Sunday or Monday: The Gamecocks have a bye the following weekend. Georgia hosts Vanderbilt.
Morehead indicated that the possibility of playing on Sunday or Monday hasn’t come across his desk yet.
“I don’t want to discuss a hypothetical question. If the commissioner calls me with a proposal we’ll discuss it. But that has not been discussed yet,” Morehead said. “I know they’re having some calls later this afternoon on the issue. But at this point we remain hopeful the game will be played at its normal time on Saturday evening.”
In Columbia, Morehead was asked?
“That is certainly a possibility,” he said. “I think everything is up in the air at this point.”