Herd-South Carolina decision looms as Florence shifts
HUNTINGTON – As Hurricane Florence draws closer to the East Coast, so does a potential decision on the status of Saturday’s Marshall-South Carolina matchup.
A shift by the hurricane’s path on Tuesday night has increased the chances of the game being postponed or canceled.
Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick spoke with South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner briefly on Wednesday morning, but as of 1:15 p.m., there is no change in status in regards to Marshall’s contest at South Carolina, which is slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
Hamrick added that he expects to speak with Tanner again on Wednesday afternoon after Tanner meets with officials at South Carolina - a talk which could decide the contest’s status.
While a decision may come on Wednesday, it is not expected any later than early Thursday, given that Marshall is scheduled to travel to Columbia, S.C., on Friday.
The original plan has Marshall’s team flying to Columbia on Friday, but Hamrick said on Tuesday that contingencies had been made to secure buses as an alternate travel method. Based on current projections, flight travel in the Carolinas is unlikely due to Florence’s winds.
On Tuesday, both athletic directors and coaches for each team said they were moving forward as if they were playing the game as models had Columbia, S.C., being outside the direct path of Hurricane Florence.
However, National Weather Service models at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night showed that Florence’s path had changed significantly in a southwest direction.
As of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, models distributed from National Weather Service in Columbia, S.C., showed that Florence was expected to move near Wilmington, N.C., on Thursday night before drifting slowly southwest across South Carolina through the weekend.
Columbia is one of several cities in South Carolina that the hurricane is expected to significantly impact and the NWS warned of a higher risk for flash flooding and tornadoes within the area due to the shift.
Due to the shift, the University of South Carolina announced on Wednesday that it was canceling classes through Saturday.
Check back to http://www.herald-dispatch.com for updates.