News With Commentary by HC Staff

Monday, August 28, 2000
by Will Stewart,

BCA Classic Postponed

After a beautiful, mostly sunny day, the skies opened up over Blacksburg and rained for over an hour, causing officials to postpone (and possibly cancel) the BCA game between the Hokies and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

As both teams lined up for the opening kickoff, a thunderstorm approached from the West, and the lightning began to pick up in frequency and intensity. It took officials very little time to decide to clear the field, and the fans and bands in Tech's newly expanded metal bleachers in the North end zone were quickly evacuated.

The rain started shortly after the decision to clear the field, and for over an hour, it rained hard in Blacksburg, which is normally the home of the ten-minute thunderstorm. As fans clustered under the concrete stands and waited for news, word finally trickled down into the crowd that the game was postponed and may not be rescheduled.

The decision to call the game was made by Virginia Tech AD Jim Weaver, Georgia Tech AD Dave Braine, referee Dan Blum, and game organizers. Neither team will receive their $600,000 guarantee for the game, and Weaver and Braine will discuss rescheduling the game this week.

It doesn't seem likely that the game will be played, however, for several reasons:

  • The two teams do not share an open date, so the game would have to be played late in the season (December 1st), which neither team seems to want, since it would follow emotionally-draining rivalry games (VT vs. UVa and GT vs. UGa).
  • Braine did not want to play the game anyway (head coach George O'Leary wanted it), and he likely won't make much of an effort to reschedule it.
  • One of GT's major reasons for playing the game was to get game experience for their new starting quarterback prior to their early Sep. 9th game with Florida State. That opportunity is now lost, and rescheduling the game for later in the year would not bring GT the same advantage.

It was the first weather postponement of a Division I-A football game since UCLA's game at Miami was stopped by the threat of Hurricane Georges on Sep. 26, 1998. It was Virginia Tech's first lightning-delayed game since the Hokies' game at West Virginia on Oct. 5, 1991. That game was only delayed temporarily, and the Hokies won it, 20-14.


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