TSU football game postponed

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2001

Sports Editor

And on second thought…

Troy State followed suit with the SEC, Big Ten and other national athletic conferences on Thursday in postponing this weekend’s scheduled football game with visiting Appalachian State.

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"Our original decision to play the game was made with the thought of pressing onward and attempting to begin the healing process following the horrendous events of the last two days," Troy State Athletics Director Johnny Williams said. "After discussing the situation with officials from Appalachian State, and contemplating the response of our supporters during the last 24 hours, we felt that the decision to postpone the game would be appropriate and in line with the majority of the college football community."

The SEC made a decision on Wednesday to go ahead with weekend football games, despite the cancellation of a majority of Saturday’s scheduled contests.

Sports events across the United States was put on an indefinite hold Tuesday when three hijacked passenger jets crashed into the two World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

The two towers, each 110-stories in height, collapsed soon after the attacks.

TSU head coach Larry Blakeney said his players were "unhappy" with the cancellation of the game and he, himself, wished that "college football would carry on this weekend."

But in light of the circumstances, Blakeney supported the decision.

"Obviously, our players were hoping to play," Blakeney said. "But they understand the magnitude of the recent events and how they relate to all of us as Americans. There will be another day to play football. We support the decision. It was the right one in light of the other cancellations this week. If it was left up to me, though, we would play."

"We had everything worked out with Appalachian State and were ready to play." said Blakeney about the would be visiting team, who would have bussed down to Troy on Friday from Boone, N.C. "But this is what we were told to do and we’ll follow it."

Although there wasn’t an official recommendation to postpone from the NCAA, college football’s governing body, Blakeney said growing "negative press" against the SEC and other conferences who wished to play on Saturday, probably led to this weekend’s cancellations.

"This wasn’t anything mandated by the NCAA. They were willing to let those play who wanted to play," said Blakeney. "This came from the presidents and people at the top of the conferences. I believe the pressure not to play got to them."

Once the SEC and Big Ten decided not go ahead with this weekend’s schedule, other conferences, along with 1-A Independent TSU, soon came to the same decision.

The National Football League had also announced on Wednesday that it would not play the second week of its regular season on Sunday.

"That was a good decision on their part," said Blakeney. "I didn’t think the NFL should have played anyway, considering the travel and the big crowds those team have to deal with."