Hurricane forces Oregon State, Nicholls State to postpone opener
Hurricane Isaac has forced Oregon State and Nicholls State to postpone their season opener that was set for Saturday at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.
Oregon State officials said Wednesday night that the game will be rescheduled.
The Nicholls State campus in Thibodaux, La., is closed because of Isaac, and classes Friday have already been canceled. The team was scheduled to take a charter flight to Oregon on Friday morning.
"It's extremely unfortunate that we will not be able to make this trip," Nicholls State athletic director Rob Bernardi said in a statement. "With the lingering effects of Hurricane Isaac, we do not want to put any of our student-athletes or staff in danger, so at this point, we feel like it is best to focus on the safety of everyone, and we'll look into rescheduling the game at a later time."
Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes in Southern Louisiana were hit hard by heavy wind and rain from Isaac on Wednesday, leaving some 60,000 homes and business in the area without power. The slow-moving storm that caused widespread coastal flooding was later downgraded.
Officials for the two schools will now consider options for rescheduling the game. Because the teams have different off dates, the game could be scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 1, but there could be a conflict if the Colonels reach the FCS playoffs or the Beavers go to the Pac-12 championship.
Pac-12 officials also will be involved in rescheduling the game.
The two schools originally planned to decide whether to postpone the game Thursday night. Options included playing on Sunday or Monday.
"It became apparent as the day progressed that the safety of Nicholls State's team and personnel was a primary concern," Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis said in a statement. "Many of the Colonels' student-athletes and staff are with family and there is a deepening concern about their safety in returning to campus."
The Beavers will now open the season at home Sept. 8 against No. 12 Wisconsin. The Colonels open at South Alabama that day.
Nicholls State was also forced to cancel its women's volleyball tournament, the Bayou Invitational, scheduled for this weekend.
The Colonels missed the first two games of the 2008 season because of Hurricane Gustav and damage caused to Guidry Stadium. Nicholls State canceled its 2005 opener against Utah State because of Hurricane Katrina.
Oregon State has not missed a game since 2001 when a home game against Montana State game was cancelled because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Elsewhere in Louisiana, LSU coach Les Miles and his staff rode out Hurricane Isaac at the football operations building on the Baton Rouge campus while planning for the team' opener against North Texas at Tiger Stadium.
Practice Wednesday was cancelled but Miles said he was hoping No. 3 LSU would be able to resume on Thursday, depending on how quickly Isaac moved out of the region.
LSU vice chancellor Herb Vincent said university officials expected to meet Thursday morning to evaluate damage and consult with area authorities about the condition of the community before making a final decision on whether to play the game as scheduled.
The Superdome in New Orleans was largely undamaged by Isaac in advance of Saturday's game between host Tulane and Rutgers. Tulane official expect to make a final call on whether the game will be played by Thursday morning.