Hurricane Irma caused millions of Florida residents to flee the dangerous storm, and forced Miami’s football team to take a 20-day break between games. It didn’t necessarily affect football recruiting, since UM’s pair of games affected by the storm were road games, at Arkansas State and Florida State. No official visitors were slated to come to Hard Rock Stadium to watch the games.
Maybe the storm made out-of-state recruits think twice about attending school in Miami, since it was a serious enough storm to sidetrack life in South Florida for several weeks. Living anywhere has its pros and cons, and life in what Mark Richt likes to call “Paradise” comes with a price. You may have to board up the house and live on granola bars and bottled water for a few days.
If you’re a player, though, UM showed it will take care of you. The school evacuated on Sept. 7, three days before the storm hit, because Irma had rare Category 5 strength and was battering the Caribbean. Athletes were given the choice of going home to their families or coming to Orlando by bus. About 35 football players and 20 from other sports took UM up on that, and stayed in a hotel in the central part of the state. Good bonding experience, certainly.
UM Athletic Director Blake James said safety was the first priority, and his players and staff were safe during the storm.
It wasn’t all good, however.
Basketball recruiting may have taken a hit – a five-star hit.
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