Notebook: Tennessee wants early kickoff time for LSU game
Wednesday, 09/07, 8:15 p.m.
By Jim Kleinpeter
BATON ROUGE – The University of Tennessee has asked the SEC for an early kickoff for its game with LSU at Tiger Stadium on Sept 24., but it appears the decision will be left up to television networks.
Volunteers coach Philip Fulmer acknowledged that the school made the request for the benefit of Tennessee fans that may not be able to find hotel rooms in Baton Rouge because of the massive influx of people fleeing Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Many hotels have already said they will not displace refugees, even for people with reservations. An earlier kickoff would allow Tennessee fans to seek hotel rooms outside Baton Rouge on their way home.
“The issues with the hotels, perhaps an early game would benefit certainly our fans and probably all the fans,” Fulmer said.
Kickoff time has not been officially set but ESPN has first choice of SEC games that weekend and is likely to choose the No. 3-ranked Vols vs. the No. 5 Tigers, which would make the start around 6:45 p.m. That is pleasing for LSU fans who revere their tradition of night football.
“LSU’s position is that the kickoff time for the Tennessee game will be determined by television,” said LSU associate athletic director Herb Vincent. “LSU wants to play the game Saturday night.”
CBS has second choice after ESPN and holds the 2:30 p.m. time slot. Other SEC games that day include Arkansas at Alabama, Florida at Kentucky and Georgia at Mississippi State. ESPN can make its selection as early as Monday, but also has the option of waiting six more days for a decision.
Charles Bloom, the SEC director of media relations, reiterated that the start time would be determined by TV, but that the schools were in discussion about any possible adjustments because of the relief effort in Baton Rouge.
"As of now, the Tennessee-LSU game is scheduled to be played in Baton Rouge,” Bloom said “The time and television network of the game is still to be decided. There has been, and continues to be, communication between the conference office and the two participation institutions on the issues brought up by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."
TICKET REFUND: LSU fans with tickets to the Arizona State game who can’t attend the game can receive refunds of $36 per ticket. The game was moved to Tempe, Ariz., because of the ongoing relief efforts in Baton Rouge.
Fans have four refund choices:
- Refunds can be donated to the Hurricane Katrina Student Relief Fun to assist students affected by the storm.
- The money can be donated to the LSU athletic department to offset the loss of the home game.
- It can be applied toward the purchase of 2006 tickets.
- Ticket holders can receive a check for the refund or credit card adjustment.
Tradition Fund Tiger Athletic Foundation donations and parking passes are not refundable.
DESERT CONDITIONS: Temperatures have been hitting triple digits in Tempe this week and that fact has not been lost on LSU coach Les Miles.
“I’m concerned that we need to hydrate in that arid climate,” he said. “The temperature will be hot, there won’t be much humidity. The water will come in and out of you pretty fast. We need to make sure our guys are hydrated.”
VACANCIES: Arizona State is organizing its faculty and staff to provide lodging for LSU fans making the trip to in Tempe, Ariz., for Saturday’s game. Interested fans should contact Melanie Burford at MelanieBurford@asu.edu .
FAMILY TIE: Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller’s father has an indirect tie to Miles. Keller’s father, Mike, was an All-Big Ten linebacker at Michigan from 1969-71 under Bo Schembechler. Miles went to Michigan shortly afterward and lettered in 1974-75. “Sure I remember him,” Miles said. “He was in and around Michigan when I was there. He was a heck of a guy, a real Michigan guy.”