The Idaho Vandals will not play the Florida Gators this season — but they will in 2017. The two schools announced Wednesday that Saturday's terminated game would not be made up this year, declaring it a "no contest."
On Saturday, Idaho's game at Florida was terminated after only one play was completed and nearly four hours of weather-related delays. Upon the termination, the two schools had to decide whether to replay the game this season, or cancel it. Both had a bye week Oct. 25, but it would have meant Idaho would play 11 straight weeks. Coach Paul Petrino said Monday he would prefer to keep the bye week for player safety, and wished to play it in December, but Florida may be in the SEC Championship at that time.
Florida will pay Idaho the full $975,000 it was going to pay the Vandals for coming to Gainesville despite the game's cancellation. Wednesday's announcement also included a newly-scheduled game for 2017 at Florida. Idaho plays at USC and Auburn in 2015, at Washington and Washington State in 2016 and now Florida in 2017. The payout Idaho will receive for the 2017 game has not yet been determined, an Idaho official said. USC and Auburn will pay the Vandals $1.1 and $1 million, respectively, next year.
“I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare,” Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said. “It was not in our best interest to play (11) consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017.”
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The Vandals play Saturday at Louisiana-Monroe to open Sun Belt Conference play. Idaho and Florida now have 11-game regular season schedules. Idaho is ineligible for the postseason because of academic penalties.