JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State won't get to open its football season on Sunday afternoon, after all.
The Ohio Valley Conference announced today that JSU's game at Tennessee State will be postponed from Sunday to March 7. In a news release, the league gave winter weather as the reason. Murray State's game at Southeast Missouri has been pushed from Sunday to March 7, as well.
"We're certainly disappointed we won't be able to open our season Sunday," JSU athletics director Greg Seitz said, "but we're looking forward to having our first game of the year at Burgess-Snow Field on Feb. 28."
The JSU/Tennessee State game is scheduled for Hale Stadium on the Tennessee State campus, which has been hit by a snow storm. Hale Stadium has a natural grass surface.
“The sport of football and providing an opportunity for our student-athletes to play this spring is important to the Ohio Valley Conference,” OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche said in a prepared statement. “We respect the decision for some of our member institutions to postpone games this weekend due to the localized nature of the storm and unique factors on each campus, including field type.”
Seitz said JSU didn't know until today that Hale Stadium was having such issues with its surface that it could not host a game Sunday.
"We presented options to Tennessee State, including coming here and us covering their expenses by using the money we would've spent going to Nashville," Seitz said.
JSU's Burgess-Snow Field has artificial turf, but Seitz said that option was turned down.
With the postponement, JSU is now scheduled to play seven games in seven weeks, with no bye week. All are against OVC opponents. The Gamecocks will host Tennessee Tech on Feb. 28, Southeast Missouri on March 21, and Austin Peay on March 28. They'll travel to Tennessee State on March 7, UT Martin on March 14, Eastern Illinois on April 3 and Murray State on April 11.