Notebook: Rita shouldn’t pose problem for LSU, Vols
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 8:30 p.m.
By Jim Kleinpeter
BATON ROUGE – LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said meteorologists don’t expect Hurricane Rita to pose a problem for the Tigers’ game against Tennessee in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.
Rita became a Category 5 hurricane Wednesday and appears to be tracking to the west of Louisiana. It is expected to make landfall Saturday along the Texas coast.
Bertman, who has been in consultation with LSU meteorologist Dr. Essy Su and others, said he was told the storm should continue on it’s westerly course, bypassing Louisiana, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina three weeks ago.
“There really isn’t any reason the Tennessee plane can’t land or leave on Saturday,” Bertman said. “We do have a 60 percent chance of rain Saturday. It could change. Twenty-four hours from now we’ll have more data.”
Bertman said he has been in contact with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton about the weather conditions. Slive was out of town Wednesday but Charles Bloom, director of SEC media relations, said the conference is in a wait-and-see mode.
“A decision doesn’t have to be made until Friday,” Bloom said. “We have to make sure the visiting team can get there, the officials and all the security and emergency people, too. We’re looking at the track of the storm and by Friday we’ll make a decision.”
Should the hurricane turn north and force postponement, the teams’ only option might be to play Sunday. LSU already has used up its remaining open date for rescheduling its game with North Texas State on Oct. 29.
Rice already has postponed Saturday’s home game against Navy until Oct. 22, and Houston has postponed its game against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles’ game with Tulane was postponed earlier this season by Hurricane Katrina. Texas A&M moved its scheduled game against Texas State to tonight.
ON SECOND THOUGHT. . .: ESPN has decided not to originate it’s College GameDay telecast from LSU because of the possible threat of Hurricane Rita, producer Michael Fountain said Wednesday. The decision will not affect the broadcast of the LSU game, which will kick off at 6:45 p.m.
GameDay will broadcast from the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game.
“We are very disappointed about not coming to Baton Rouge,” Fountain said. “We’ve looked at the LSU schedule and we are exploring the possibility of coming back to Baton Rouge Oct. 15 for the Florida game.
TUBING: Tiger Vision, LSU’s in-house network, will televise the LSU-Mississippi State game in Starkville on Oct. 1. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Cable subscribers can purchase TigerVision through their local outlets, The Dish Network or DirecTV. The cost is $34.50.
INJURIES: Running back Alley Broussard (knee), linebacker E.J. Kuale (ankle) and defensive in Kirston Pittman (foot) are LSU’s only injuries.