Campus News

Florida Atlantic football team stays in Madison to avoid weather

The UW-Madison athletic department is covering the hotel expenses for Florida Atlantic University, who has been unable to return home due to weather from Hurricane Irma.

Image By: Brandon Moe

With Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida this past weekend, Florida Atlantic University’s football team has had an extended stay in Madison after losing to the Badgers this past Saturday.

According to Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Brian Mason, FAU has been staying at a Marriott Hotel in Middleton, Wis. since arriving in town Friday. The hotel expenses—which include rooms for the players and families of FAU staff who were able to find room on the charter from Florida—are being covered by the UW-Madison athletic department, according to Mason.

Although teams like Florida and Florida State had to cancel their games, FAU’s travel to Madison was “not impacted,” according to a statement before Saturday’s game from UW-Madison Athletic Director Barry Alvarez. Alvarez also offered to aid the FAU team “in any way possible.”

The Owls—who are training at Camp Randall during their stay—plan to head back to Florida Wednesday. Although the campus has been shut down since Saturday, FAU Associate Athletic Director Brian Battle said campus dorms will begin to reopen Wednesday, and FAU faculty and staff will return to campus Thursday and Friday. According to Battle, no major damages to the university have been reported, and the team is finalizing their trip home with local airports.

“[The university has] canceled classes for the rest of the week to make sure we have everything all set for our students to come back,” Battle said. “We have all those people who were evacuated out of south Florida who are now going to come back, and we thought it was best that we work through this slowly. We are looking to leave Wednesday at some point.”

Despite having avoided Hurricane Irma, Battle said the team is looking forward to returning home.

“We are looking forward to get back to south Florida, start to get back into the regular swing of things and put this storm behind us,” Battle said.

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