LEXINGTON, KY --- Southeastern Conference officials announced Wednesday that the league would move forward with its scheduled games this weekend despite cancellation of other sporting events across the country due to Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
In a press release issued this afternoon, the league states that its members "mourn the tragic loss of lives and other injuries associated with the acts of destruction, but joins the President of the United States and other leaders of our nation by not allowing this event to change the way of life or restrict our freedoms.
"The SEC believes these events present a meaningful opportunity to bring our people together in a common expression of sympathy and mourning. An appropriate ceremony to express these sentiments will be held prior to each game."
The SEC also announced it would be donating $1,000,000 from the gate receipts and television fees to funds which will assist the victims of the tragedy. In addition, fans at each event will be encouraged to make donations to the fund.
Among the league games scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, are: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss; Houston at Georgia; Tennessee at Florida; Southern Miss at Alabama; Kentucky at Indiana; North Texas at Arkansas; BYU at Mississippi State; Bowling Green at South Carolina and Auburn at LSU.
At Kentucky, the news came as a relief, although the Wildcats had always planned to take buses for their annual border rivalry game at Indiana.
"I feel good about it," Kentucky coach Guy Morriss said. "I think our players wanted to play, so they were excited to hear about it."
"This is America," Kentucky junior tight end Derek Smith said. "We're going to keep on going. We're not going to let some terrorists come in and take away our freedom, change the way we go about our lives, and part of that is playing college football, or going to work every day, earning a living. I'm glad to see that we're not stopping for this."