Florida, Idaho won't reschedule

Updated: September 3, 2014, 8:37 PM ET
By Jeff Barlis | ESPN.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida and Idaho will play 11-game regular seasons after the schools' athletic directors agreed Wednesday not to reschedule Saturday's contest that was suspended by lightning and an unplayable field.

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AP Photo/Phil SandlinFlorida's season opener against Idaho, which was suspended due to lightning and unplayable conditions, won't be rescheduled.

"We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement.

Florida will pay Idaho its $975,000 guarantee by Feb. 1, 2015, as per the schools' contract. The Gators and Vandals also agreed to schedule a game in 2017. It is unclear as to whether Florida will pay Idaho expenses for the game or a completely different payment for the 2017 game.

"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 AD Rob Spear said. "It was not in our best interest to play 10 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017."

The schools decided against rescheduling on Oct. 25, an open date for both teams. Idaho coach Paul Petrino reportedly said the schools were discussing an open date in December, but Florida and Idaho opted instead to declare the game a no-contest.

The Oct. 25 date is a key bye week for the Gators and Vandals, who play conference rivals Georgia and Arkansas State, respectively, the following week.

"I would have liked to have played [the Idaho game] when it was scheduled," Florida senior linebacker Michael Taylor said earlier Wednesday. "But as our coaches said, we don't want to risk a bye going into a game that will be very big for our season and for what we want to do and accomplish this year."

Florida coach Will Muschamp said his team is focused on restarting its season on Saturday with a home game against Eastern Michigan.

"I wish we could have played the game Saturday night," Muschamp said in a statement, "but I support the decision made by both Athletic Directors."

Idaho released a statement saying that tickets for the game purchased through the school's official ticket office can be refunded.

Information from ESPN.com's Darren Rovell contributed to this report.

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