Florida Gators blasted after refusing to complete potentially embarrassing loss

Florida’s Alfred A. McKethan Stadium was the site of some controversy on Tuesday. (AP)
Florida’s Alfred A. McKethan Stadium was the site of some controversy on Tuesday. (AP)

Stetson University was on the verge of a potential season-changing victory against the seventh-ranked Florida Gators on Tuesday. Then the rains came and the Gators essentially retreated into the swamp, leaving Stetson fuming mad over the circumstances.

The Hatters, who entered the game 13-17 on the season, had jumped out to a stunning 10-1 lead through four innings. That’s when the inclement weather settled in, leading to a delay and ultimately a cancellation one inning before the game became official.

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The first source of frustration for Stetson is obvious: Three more outs were still required to get the win.

The second problem was the lack of urgency Florida’s grounds crew showed in getting the field covered. Reports indicate the crew was not deployed until 25 minutes into the delay, which undoubtedly impacted field conditions.

Then came the third and most maddening moment of the evening. After the game was officially called off — which was announced after the rain had stopped — Florida announced that it would not seek to resume the game on a later date.

Because the game will not be resumed, Stetson’s impressive start will be wiped from the record. It also means Florida will avoid a potential loss that wouldn’t look good on its resume.

Instead, that game will now remain blank, with Stetson not even getting an opportunity to exact some revenge in Gainesville. And believe us, the Hatters were not happy. n a blistering article on its athletics website, Stetson vented its frustration over Florida’s handling of the entire situation.

With two available open dates for the teams to resume the game, Florida also balked, saying those dates – Tuesday, May 10 and Tuesday, May 16 – were too close to the SEC Tournament for them to be able to play.

So, the Stetson Hatters will have to be happy with knowing that they beat the mighty Gators into submission, even though they won’t get the win, or the stats, to show for their efforts.

There are many ways to look at this. None of them reflect all that well on Florida.

First and foremost, we know that tarp issues are bound to happen from time to time. The timing and extent of the issues here though are definitely interesting.

The decision to call the game off was likely influenced by a number of factors, which the Gators state included the forecast. Still, it appeared there was a clear window to play another inning or two. That’s the difference between making it an official game.

Beyond that, though Florida was not technically obligated to reschedule, the totality of the circumstances do make it seem like the primary goal here was to avoid this game from entering the record books.

It’s unfortunate for Stetson. The school’s frustration here is definitely understandable. But there’s not a lot that can be done beyond getting a few stiff punches in on Florida and moving on.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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