Florida's season opener with Idaho will not be rescheduled or made up and has been officially ruled a "no contest," the two schools announced Wednesday.
Florida will fulfill the terms of its contract with Idaho and pay the Vandals $975,000 by February 1, 2015, and the two teams have scheduled a game in 2017.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, Florida coach Will Muschamp, and Idaho athletic director Rob Spear issued a joint statement
"We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand," Foley said.
"I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare," Spear said. "It was not in our best interest to play 10 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017."
"Like all Gators, I wish we could have played the game Saturday night, but I support the decision made by both Athletic Directors," Muschamp said. "As I said earlier this week, our focus is getting our players and team ready for Eastern Michigan and we are excited to get back out there in front of our passionate and loyal fans."
Fans will also be able to have their tickets refunded through Florida's ticket office or TicketMaster; more details on that are available at GatorZone, but here's the gist:
- Fans who purchased tickets via TicketMaster will be automatically refunded by September 8.
- Fans who purchased tickets via the Gator Ticket Office before game day will be refunded with a check by mail by September 22.
- Fans who purchased tickets via the Gator Ticket Office on game day should contact the office — 352-375-4683, x6800 — to inquire about a refund by September 30.
- Quoting the release directly: "Purchased ticket from vendor other than the Gator Ticket Office? No refunds available through Gator Ticket Office."
This outcome is almost precisely what we predicted in our Sunday postmortem of the game. (I suppose you could argue "mostly unsatisfying.")
What will happen?
My gut feeling: Florida and Idaho fail to come to an agreement on what constitutes fair compensation for another trip across the country, and decide not to resume or try to play this game, but Florida schedules Idaho for a non-conference game at some point in the near future as a sort of pseudo-restitution. Both teams make amends to fans in a mostly unsatisfying way.