Gators preparing indoors for EWU as Hurricane Ian makes landfall, staff offering support to affected families

Florida’s game against Eastern Washington University has already been pushed back from Saturday to Sunday at noon, but Billy Napier says that things are mostly business as usual as the bulk of the state prepares for Hurricane Ian to make landfall.

Gainesville is a good deal inland from where the storm is supposed to do its worst damage along the west coast of the Florida peninsula. While rain and wind may make practicing outdoors impossible, the Gators are able to keep their weekly schedule uninterrupted by making use of the Gary Condron Indoor Practice Facility.

“I think we’re fortunate that we’ve got the Gary Condron Indoor Facility,” Napier said during the SEC’s teleconference, according to 247Sports. “That’s going to enable us to continue working. We’ll just be inside, and, I think outside of that, you know, we’re status quo here.”

While the immediate members of the team are safe, Napier is aware that many families connected to the team will be affected. He estimated that over a dozen players have families in the path of Ian, and he said that the team will do what can to support them.

“I do think we have probably, you know, 15-plus players that have families that will probably be significantly affected more than others, right, so just kind of getting in position as an organization to where we can support their families and help them through what we hope won’t be a difficult thing,” Napier continued, “but we all know what comes with these storms and these hurricanes, so outside of that, we’re fortunate that we have the ability to continue to work.”

Once the storm makes its way north, the school will be able to assess the damage and make a final call for the game on Sunday. Assuming all goes to plan, Florida’s best-case scenario at this point is having a short week to prepare for Missouri. Napier wasn’t too concerned about what that’ll bring, noting that the team is focused on its upcoming opponent right now and will face the next challenge when the time comes.

Napier’s not sweating the crowd either. Right now, it’s about being safe and getting through whatever the hurricane brings.


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