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Impending snow storm could cause date change for Iowa-Nebraska basketball game

[ 0 ] February 18, 2013 |
FILE -  Iowa's #25 Eric May, right, played hide and go seek defense with Nebraska's #25 Caleb Walker, left, in men's basketball game played at the Carver - Hawkeye  Arena in Iowa City, Iowa on Jan. 26. (Bill Neibergall/Des Moines Register)

FILE – Iowa’s #25 Eric May, right, played hide and go seek defense with Nebraska’s #25 Caleb Walker, left, in men’s basketball game played at the Carver – Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa on Jan. 26. (Bill Neibergall/Des Moines Register)

University of Iowa officials are planning for Thursday’s men’s basketball game at Nebraska to be played as scheduled.

Athletic administrators at Iowa and Nebraska discussed contingency plans with the Big Ten Conference today because of an expected snowstorm forecast to hit both states late Wednesday and Thursday. Playing the game Saturday is one of the options being considered.

“At this point, the plan is to play the game as scheduled,” Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said this afternoon. “That’s always our preference as long as safety can be maintained. We have been, and will continue to be, in contact with Nebraska and the Big Ten in the event that we need to make other arrangements due to weather.”

Nebraska associate athletic director Marc Boehm said the storm, and the possible public safety issues it would bring, have been discussed.

“At this point, the, the game is still scheduled for Thursday, unless notified,” Boehm said.

Iowa is scheduled to fly to Lincoln on Wednesday afternoon. On his radio show Monday night, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said no decision would be made until at least Tuesday.

“We’re going to get closer to the time the storm is supposed to come,” McCaffery said. “And then figure out, can we get in? If we get in, can we get out? We can take a day to get back out and still play the game on Thursday if the referees can get there.”

The 8 p.m. game at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb., is scheduled to be televised by ESPN2.  Mark Rudner, the Big Ten’s senior associate commissioner and television administrator, said that television would play no role in moving a game.

“Obviously, public safety is first and foremost in these kinds of issues,” Rudner said. “I alerted ESPN this morning about the possibility that the institutions may look to reschedule the game. It’s really not a TV call. It’s really a conference call with the institutions and we’ll make the best of it.”

Neither team has  a game scheduled this weekend. After Thursday’s scheduled game, the Cornhuskers don’t play again until Feb. 26 at Wisconsin. Iowa doesn’t play again until hosting Purdue on Feb. 27.

“It couldn’t really be cleared cleaner from an administration point of view,” Rudner said.

If the game is moved to Saturday, it wouldn’t be televised by  an ESPN network.

“I don’t think ESPN has any shelf space on Saturday, obviously with such short notice, to put the game on an ESPN platform,” Rudner said.

Nebraska coach Tim Miles said that he’d prefer the game be played on the original date “and proceed as planned. We’ve got a lot of things to consider. Not only playing the game and winning the game, but recruiting travel and a whole bunch of other stuff. Either way, we will make it work.”


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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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