Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dolphins Get Caught in Tide of Tough Luck

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dolphins Get Caught in Tide of Tough Luck

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Abrams

So far this college football season, Jacksonville University has gone up against two hurricanes, one water leak and no opponents.

Consider this Steve Gilbert's Series of Unfortunate Events. It has been so absurd, so unpredictable, that the JU coach has tried to make light of the situation.

After having his first two games canceled at the last minute, the one thing Gilbert won't do is guarantee that his team will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Charleston Southern in South Carolina.

How could he? Especially not when Ophelia -- which keeps switching from hurricane to tropical storm status --was only 140 miles off of Charleston's coast as of Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm not going to predict anything," Gilbert said earlier this week. "I'm done saying we're going to play this Saturday."

The last two weeks have been that chaotic. JU was scheduled to open the season Sept. 1 at Southeastern Louisiana, but the game was called off because of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

No problem. JU will open the season a week later with a guaranteed win over a club team, Georgia State, right? Wrong.

The Panthers canceled their game with the Dolphins last Friday after most of their football equipment was ruined by flooding at the school.

What's next? Locusts?

So the JU football team is 0-2 this season when it comes to playing games. And, as expected, the players -- who reported Aug. 8 -- have grown restless.

"I guess the best way to describe is like kids waiting to open their presents on Christmas Day," wide receiver Eldin Ferguson said. "You wake up, you go downstairs and there aren't presents."

Just big, football-sized lumps of coal. But to put a positive spin on it, this is the deepest JU has gone into a season undefeated since 2001 -- though no one has taken much comfort in that. …

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