Texas officials are considering contingency plans in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Ike that could cause the postponement of Saturday's game against Arkansas.
But a final decision will not be made until Thursday, depending on the wishes of state government agencies in regard to evacuation routes, school officials said today. Nick Voinis, Texas' senior associate athletics director, said school officials have been monitoring Ike's progress since Sunday but consider it "too early to say anything" about a possible change of plans in regard to Saturday's scheduled 2:30 p.m. kickoff in Austin.
One possible alternative if Saturday's contest is postponed could be Sept. 27, when both teams are idle.
The National Weather Service projects the Texas Gulf Coast as a probable location for Ike to make landfall on Saturday morning. Depending on evacuation routes for Gulf Coast residents, which could funnel lots of traffic through Austin, the contest could be postponed or have the starting time altered.
The LSU-Appalachian State game, played Aug. 30 in Baton Rouge, La., originally was scheduled as a night game but was shifted to a 10 a.m. kickoff to allow fans to evacuate the area in advance of Hurricane Gustav. It is unclear how an earlier start in Austin might impact ABC's planned telecast of Saturday's game.
_ Jimmy Burch