LISTEN: USA AD joins Opening Kickoff
To answer some of them, South Alabama athletic director Joel Erdmann joined the Opening kickoff with Mark Heim and Randy Kennedy. He said the whole program was initially disappointed with the decision.
“We’ve got student-athletes, young men in that locker room who have been pointing at that date for several years,” he said. “”We recruit with games like that. It’s not just exciting for our team, but it’s exciting for our fanbase, our university, etc.
“There is this disappointment, but at the same time, there is a realistic understanding that this is a tough deal for everyone. This all began with a natural disaster, in which people lost their lives. Thousands of people have been impacted, losing property and valuables.
The LSU-Florida game on Oct. 8 was postponed until Nov. 19 because of Hurricane Matthew.
“When you look at it from that angle, it brings it back to center a little bit,” he said.
Erdmann confirmed that Ladd-Peebles Stadium is in fact available the week of November 19, and that they have “touched base” with Presbyterian about playing a game.
“It’s very initial discussions,” he said. “In this unique situation, there is nobody else out there. Every FBS school has a 12-game schedule, and there may be some exceptions. We’re looking into that also.”
Erdmann said the only issue with playing Presbyterian, an FCS school, is that it may not count toward bowl eligibility. The Jags beat FCS team Nicholls State 41-40 earlier in the year, and the NCAA rules dictate that only one FCS win may count.
“We’re trying to determine the status of that,” he said. “If they are not, is it wise to play FCS for us?”
LSU will be paying $1.5 million to buy out the USA game.
LISTEN to the entire interview below, and listen to the Opening Kickoff with Mark and Lee every weekday morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.