Gators, city still interested in future naval ship basketball games
The halftime cancelation of Florida’s season opener against Georgetown aboard the U.S.S. Bataan does not necessarily signal the end of naval ship games.
The Gators led Georgetown 27-23 at halftime, and when the teams came back from the locker room there was too much condensation oon the court to continue. For more on that, click here.
Despite that, coaches and officials believed the game was a success and will consider holding more of them in the future.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board,” said Alan Verlander, the City of Jacksonville’s executive director of sports and entertainment. “This doesn’t mean the event’s gone. I don’t want people to lose sight of the fact that for the whole week and for the fourmonths we planned this event, so many lives were changed. Soldiers’ lives were changed. That’s who we did it for.”
In addition to the U.S.S. Bataan game being cut short, there was another cancelation earlier in the day. Ohio State and Marquette were supposed to play in South Carolina, but it never tipped off due to the moisture on the court.
It was about 60 degrees at tipoff for Florida’s game and there were few slipping issues in the first half. Most of those situations were quickly resolved by wiping up the condensation spots, but they would not go away at halftime.
“It’s still fresh and we’ll have to think it through, but you’d probably have to play it in the daytime to eliminate this issue,” UF administrator Mike Hill said.
The problem with that is Saturdays and Sundays are not good for television during the college and pro football season. The Florida-Georgetown game was part of a Friday night doubleheader on NBC Sports Network.
If the games cannot be played in the warmer hours of the day to avoid condensation, they might not be viable.
“I think there’s going to be some serious concerns right now,” Gators coach Billy Donovan said. “I think it was a great idea. So much of playing outside in these situations is the weather. If it was maybe a little bit warmer outside, maybe you don’t have this issue. So that’s the hard part right now for these games maybe going forward.”
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