Sept. 12, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Florida State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are postponing Saturday’s football game and likely will reschedule it for Dec. 1. The game was postponed out of respect for the victims of the tragic attacks this week in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, said FSU President Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte.
Administrators also took other steps to reassure and assist shaken students and faculty and to tighten campus security, while students held prayer vigils and planned a march for Thursday at 11 a.m. from Moore Auditorium to the Westcott Building.
“While we continue business as usual in the academic sense, we are postponing or canceling extracurricular activities of a social or celebratory nature,” D’Alemberte said. “This is a time for sober reflection by all Americans – a time to respect the loss of lives, those injured and their families and friends.”
The university will resume its regular events schedule next Monday.
In an open letter on the FSU Web site, D’Alemberte also stressed the importance of maintaining professionalism and civility among all students and faculty.
“We must remember the mistakes made in reaction to other attacks on our people and not respond to hate with incivility and intolerance,” he said. “We are a learning community, united in our mission of teaching, research and service.”
The decision to reschedule the game came after consultation with Atlantic Coast Conference officials and university athletic directors, including FSU Director of Athletics Dave Hart.
“I believe this decision is in the best interest of our university, our fans and our players,” Hart said. “There is an immediate need, in the wake of this American tragedy, for respect, mourning and safety considerations that clearly override an athletics contest being played this Saturday. We need to, and we will, move forward, however, not as soon as the coming weekend. Athletics competition has the unique ability to play a significant role in helping our nation with the healing process, but that should come at an appropriate time.”
“After going through the day yesterday, the events of the evening and having met with our team at practice yesterday, I agree that the proper thing to do is not play this game on Saturday,” Head Coach Bobby Bowden said. “My initial reaction was not to let them (terrorists) change our way of life, but it just does not seem right to play football just yet.”
All tickets already purchased for the game scheduled this Saturday will be honored at the rescheduled game. All fans should hold onto their current ticket to use at that time. A kickoff time will be announced at a later date. There are a number of logistical components that must be put into place before the television networks can determine what they can televise, and kickoff times cannot be established until those decisions are made.
In other actions to help students, faculty and staff:
* FSU Police Chief Carey Drayton said that police locked down Doak Campbell Stadium on Tuesday and took additional security measures on campus in an abundance of caution, but that no threats had been made against the university.
* The FSU Counseling Center was open as usual to accept any student who wished to speak with a counselor. In addition, special counseling was being provided for international students.
* All deans, department heads and directors were instructed that students who couldn’t travel as a result of the crisis and were worried about missing classes could call the Registrar at (850) 644-5887 – or 872-4750, Ext. 161, at FSU’s Panama City Campus. Each student will be assigned a call-in number and instructors will be notified to allow the student to make up work missed.
Campus operations proceeded smoothly Wednesday, with students and faculty returning to normal campus activities. D’Alemberte said he was gratified and proud of FSU students for the calm and concerned way in which they reacted to the worst national tragedy of their lives. Students and staff held three separate prayer vigils Tuesday night and student government shuttled students in groups to donate blood.