With the college football season just days away from kick-off, most of Florida is tracking the movement of Hurricane Idalia, which is expected to make landfall on the west coast of the state Tuesday night.
To avoid any weather-related delays, the Gators football team will fly to Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday and spend the night before traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, according to ESPN and a team spokesperson. The initial plan was to take a straight flight from Gainesville to Salt Lake City, but the storm forced head coach Billy Napier to call and audible.
Finding a last-minute hotel that could accommodate a Division I football team and staff proved difficult, but Napier sees some silver linings.
“This could end up being a positive,” Florida head coach Billy Napier said. “We break the flight up. We get the players and the staff into Dallas, get a good night’s rest, a little extra focus and then obviously get to spend some more time together. We see that being positive.”
The University of Florida is actively monitoring Hurricane Idalia and has closed campus through Wednesday, Aug. 30. All academic and student-related activities, including online classes and exams, will also be canceled during that time, per the school’s emergency system.