As the threat to Florida from Category 5 Hurricane Irma increased late Thursday, the University of Central Florida and University of Memphis agreed to suspend their football game Friday night.
Heeding Governor Rick Scott's Thursday night declaration for all public universities to focus on storm preparation, the teams agreed not to play at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The game had previously been moved from Saturday at 8 p.m.
It was not immediately clear if the teams would be able to reschedule the game later in the season.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we agree that the game should not be played on Friday," UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White and Memphis Athletic Director Tom Bowen said in a joint statement. "We agree with Governor Scott that preparation for Hurricane Irma should be the top priority for the state. While our fans will no doubt be disappointed, we know they understand that safety has to come first."
In addition to the football game, Friday's women's soccer match vs. LSU, which had been scheduled for 2 p.m., has also been called off.
UCF cancelled class on Thursday to allow students to evacuate or make hurricane preparations. The university is closed Friday through Monday and will evaluate when to reopen based on Irma's impact to Central Florida. "I greatly appreciate the flexibility and consideration Memphis and the American Conference has shown during this statewide emergency," White said. "I couldn't have asked for better partnership from Tom or Commissioner Aresco during this very difficult time for our state."
UCF next plays at home vs. Georgia Tech on Sept. 16. Memphis hosts UCLA on Sept. 16.