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No ECU game this weeekend

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East Carolina's Fred Presley tackles Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley during rainy conditions at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 26, 2015.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

East Carolina’s football game scheduled for Saturday at Virginia Tech will not be played because of Hurricane Florence.

ECU sent out a release Tuesday at 4:45 p.m. stating that none of its teams will travel to games because of significant and imminent safety concerns. The release also said the Pirates hope to reschedule the game against the Hokies later this season.

The university canceled classes after noon Tuesday through the rest of the week and encouraged students to leave campus.

“All ECU athletics teams are prohibited from traveling for competition purposes this weekend,” the release said. “This is also consistent with the NCAA’s requirement that member institutions protect the health of and provide a safe environment for student-athletes. The storm is predicted to be more severe than anything the university has experienced in nearly 20 years and its impact could be unprecedented.”

The Pirates practiced Tuesday morning as players and coaches waited for an official announcement and were concerned about their plans and families.

Virginia Tech was planning on waiting until Wednesday to determine a status for the game.

“We will do what’s best for Virginia Tech moving forward as it relates to East Carolina and to the game,” VT athletics director Whit Babcock said in a statement after the Pirates announced they will not be traveling to Blacksburg, Va. “We certainly understand the need for safety, of course, we just felt that tomorrow, making the decision then, would’ve been more responsible and accurate. We informed ECU of this multiple times.”

A slew of college football changes were made official Tuesday afternoon, including in the Atlantic Coast Conference with home games for N.C. State and North Carolina canceled.

Wake Forest’s matchup against Boston College on Thursday in Winston-Salem was moved up from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30.

Campbell was scheduled to play at Coastal Carolina on Saturday, but that contest was moved from Conway, S.C., to Campbell’s campus in Buies Creek for Wednesday at 2 p.m.

“It is scary,” said ECU senior receiver Trevon Brown, a Wilmington native. “Outside of these white lines out here practicing, that’s all I can think about is my family right now. It floods bad in Wilmington and in Greenville.”

The impact of Florence could also affect the Pirates’ travel and logistics for next week. They are slated to begin American Athletic Conference play at South Florida on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

The AAC and the Pirates had to adjust schedules in 2016 for Hurricane Matthew, which Montgomery mentioned during his Monday news conference and again on Tuesday.

“I have a better understanding of how powerful nature is from two years ago,” he said. “So that is concerning.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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