New Orleans (SBC) - Following concerns of extreme heat during the Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette football game on Saturday, September 11, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette athletic department has opted not to televise its home game against Middle Tennessee on Saturday, September 25. In its place, the Troy-Arkansas State game will be broadcasted live that day on the Sun Belt Network. The schedule change was announced on Wednesday.
The game between Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette was televised on the Sun Belt Network and was played at a 2:30 p.m. (CT) kickoff so that the telecast was available live. No health officials, athletic trainers, university personnel or Sun Belt Conference personnel ruled that the temperature at kickoff was too extreme and the game was played as scheduled.
"We always want to be in the position of promoting and helping our member institutions. Television is an important part of any conference operation, we are appreciative of our TV partners willingness to work with David Walker to give the institution the best opportunity to have a good crowd for a contest against a very good MTSU team," said Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters. Any time you play games outside the weather is always a factor, the institutions are prepared to deal with extremes in weather should it be very hot or very cold, very wet or very dry. Hopefully none of us will have a day like last Saturday again but we might and we will all be better prepared to deal with it."
The upcoming game between Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Lafayette was also scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. (CT) kickoff on September 25. Officials within the Louisiana-Lafayette athletic department have opted to not televise the MTSU game so that a later kickoff time could be scheduled that day. In order for the game to be televised it would have to be played at 2:30 p.m. (CT) to meet the live television window provided by Sun Belt Network partners Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). The Sun Belt Conference and its TV partners reached out to the Louisiana-Lafayette administration offering to not televise the game if there were any concerns that attendance might be impacted or if there were other concerns regarding the safety of student-athletes and fans.
In lieu of the Sun Belt Network's previously scheduled game on September 25, the Arkansas State at Troy game will now be televised on that day with a kick-off time of 2:30 p.m. (CT). Troy University athletic department officials will move the kick-off time from 6 p.m. (CT) to 2:30 p.m. (CT).
The Sun Belt Network is a partnership between the Sun Belt Conference, Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). Through additional distribution agreements the reach of the Sun Belt Network has expanded in the states of Texas (Texas Channel and Charter Denton), Florida (Bright House) and Kentucky (WKYU). These supplementary distributions beyond CSS and CST provide Sun Belt Network broadcasts to over 15 million households during football season throughout the southeast. This year in football, men's basketball, women's basketball softball and baseball the network will broadcast over 40 events live and tape delay.