Coral Gables, Fla. — The University of Miami Department of Athletics announced today the cancellation of all weekend athletic contests as Hurricane Irma moves toward South Florida.

The UM football game scheduled for September 9th against Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., has been cancelled and with no mutually available dates, will not be rescheduled this season.  In addition, the Miami Duals cross country meet, home soccer contests against the College of Charleston and Stetson University, and volleyball contests in Philadelphia against the University of Delaware and Temple University have also been cancelled.

The decision was made by Director of Athletics Blake James in consultation with President Dr. Julio Frenk, as well as University and community leadership. Experts from The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami were also consulted.  Based on the projected timing and path of Hurricane Irma, the University has cancelled classes beginning today, Wednesday, September 6th.  Governor Rick Scott and President Frenk both declared a State of Emergency in advance of Hurricane Irma's approach to Florida.  The University's preparedness plan has been activated and all precautions will be taken to protect students and staff.

"The decision to cancel these athletic contests is difficult, especially as some are scheduled to take place away from Miami," James said. "However, we made the collective decision that we simply cannot put our student-athletes, coaches and staff in danger travelling to and from contests.  As we have seen from the tragic impact of Hurricane Harvey—and from South Florida's own experiences—the impacts of hurricanes can be devastating and long-lasting, and can make travel extremely difficult and dangerous.

"I want to thank all of our opponents for their cooperation and understanding. Our thoughts are with those in the path of Hurricane Irma both here in South Florida and afar.  We are comforted in knowing that our community is strong and will come together, if needed, to recover from the storm."