Right Move

Monday night's prime-time opener is now a Friday night affair. The Sunshine State Showdown between No. 5 FSU and No. 6 Miami is postponed to Sept. 10 due to the threat of Hurricane Frances. Click here for a Q & A with Dave Hart, the Seminoles' director of athletics.

Here is a Q&A with Dave Hart.

"We maintain the exposure value that was present in the Monday night game by playing it on a Friday night. That would not have been possible next Saturday night. That would have had to have gone to a regional broadcast because of other games that were already slotted on that particular day."

Explain why it's right thing to do?

"Clearly this storm is a very very serious and potentially dangerous storm. As we've tracked it literally through the experts in Miami and here four or five times daily since Monday morning, it has not dissipated, there has been nor significant change for it to have gone north, nor for its fury to have subsided substantially. That decision was an easy one when we got to today. Then we had to get back on the telephone conference at 4 o'clock to see if our priority option of rescheduling was going to be possible from ABC's perspective and we did not know that until we got on that call."

Important to maintain game's stature?

"That really was the motivation behind the exploration of Friday night, which of course was somewhat tenuous when we laid out the options Tuesday. As you know, our league has taken a very strong stand in opposition on playing on Firday night, and I've very much concurred with that because of high school football. But when John Swofford engaged in conversation beginning this morning about this scenario, if indeed ABC could open that window up. He got a great response from the high school athletic association people he spoke with and they did understand that this was an exception caused by an exceptional set of circumstances."

Talk in even Miami may not be ready

"If that scenario develops we will simply repeat the process and assessment process that brought us to this point. We would simply go through that again if indeed we find ourselves having to repeat that?"

Explain why the exposure is the priority over Saturday?

"Had we gone into the Saturday window we would have been one of at least three games, and quite honestly - we talked specifically about all these options -- we would have gone only to the Southeast quadrant of the United States.

"So rather than having national telecast we would have a very regional broadcast. Due to the buildup of the game, and due to everything that had gone into the buildup, all parties wanted to maintain that element and have a national broadcast for all the reasons that are pretty obvious at this point."

How important was it to maintain this as opener?

"Very important that we play early. We both had open dates, so common sense have to prevail.

"Secondly, for the game to go the end of the season, the whole reason we wanted to play Miami early when they came into the conference was to give both teams the best chance possible to compete for a national championship on an annual basis, for the loser to have time to recover.

"Then you have the buildup. If you're a coach and you spent the entire spring planning and preparing. These players have worked very very hard in preparation of playing the university of Miami in the first game. So really, in fairness to the players and coaches and all the work they put in, that was a major factor in my mind.

"To suddenly say we are going to wait to play that one at the end of the year, it would have changed everything that's taken place from the spring to htis moment in time."

On getting reservations for later this week.

"People are fleeing from south Florida and going north for the most part so each hotel we talked to didn't view that as a problem."

On ease of process

"That validates it. We've always had a great relationship with the University of Miami. This state has had many experiences with the threat, the tragedy, and the aftermath caused by severe hurricanes. There has always been a high level of sensitivity for what they have already been though in Miami. It was an easy process to go through."

On playing UM first

"Very important that we play the game early. First, we both have open dates. Secondly, the whole reason we wanted to play the game early was to give both teams the best chance possible to compete for a national championship, for the loser especially to have time to recover.

"Finally, these players and coaches have worked very hard. Our players have conditioned themselves and played hard in preparation to play the University of Miami. In fairness to the players and coaches that played a very big part, in least in my mind. (To move the date to the end of the season) would have changed everything up to this point. " (Ticketing issues) Very easy because all we're are doing is moving the date. It's the same time in the same venue. Everything will remain the same. Right now everyone's focus has shifted to the possibilities and what might happen. I think many of the players are concerned. I noticed today a different attitude. They were concerned about their families and their homes and what this storm is capable of.


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