Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Glad to Refocus on Football

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Glad to Refocus on Football

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

The University of Florida, like all Division I college football teams, tries to restart its weekly routine today as the nation continues to recover from the tragedy of last week's terrorist attacks. And maybe by playing football again, they'll help the nation heal.

"We're excited to play this week, excited to get back to our normal lives," said Florida coach Steve Spurrier, whose No. 2 Gators (2-0, 0-0 SEC) are scheduled to play at Kentucky (1-1, 0-0) on Saturday. "Hopefully playing college football will help our country get back to our everyday sort of life. We're excited to try and do our part to bring everyone in the country together a little more and get back to a normal life."

That was the reason the Southeastern Conference office gave last Wednesday for not postponing games. But by Thursday afternoon, after the NFL postponed its weekend schedule and six other conferences that had pledged to play decided not to, the SEC announced no games would be played on Saturday. Four days later, Spurrier believes it was the correct move.

"It was not a day to play football," he said. "All of our players were sort of glad we weren't playing. When we told them the game was canceled, there was no one saying, 'Oh no, we wanted to play.' It seemed to be the right thing to do. All the other conferences were canceling games and it was the right thing to do."

Spurrier gave the players Friday, Saturday and yesterday off. They will practice at 7 p.m. today in preparation for the Wildcats. Spurrier said yesterday he wasn't completely sure if the team would be able to travel by chartered jet to Lexington.

Although the SEC office has not made an announcement about when the weekend's postponed games will be made up, the most likely scenario is playing the games on Dec. 1 and pushing the SEC Championship back a week to Dec. …

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