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Georgia moves up kickoff to noon as storm approaches

College Football, Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons

Hurricane Florence continues to affect college football games this week.

The kickoff for Middle Tennessee's game at No. 3 Georgia on Saturday has been moved to noon due to concerns about the impact of the storm.

The game had been scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff.

Georgia said Thursday that the decision to move the kickoff time was made following "extensive evaluation involving the uncertainty of weather conditions on the East Coast, and consideration of all constituencies involved including fans, support staff, and law enforcement.''

There is no rain in the current forecast for Saturday. Athens, in northeast Georgia, could be affected by outer bands of the storm on Sunday.

The game will be televised on ESPN News instead of ESPN2.

Presbyterian has canceled its football game against Stetson on Saturday because of the approach of Hurricane Florence.

The FCS school was to play at home in Clinton, South Carolina. Presbyterian then shifted the game to the opponents' home field in Florida. But Presbyterian athletic director Danny Sterling said it became clear that traveling out of state was not safe for the team or fans.

Florence has altered the schedules of many programs the past two days, canceling games involving No. 13 Virginia Tech, NC State, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Colgate's scheduled game at Furman was canceled because of the approaching storm. Colgate released its hotel rooms and donated the scheduled team meals.   

"At the end of the day, you have to look at the big picture, and that's the safety of everyone involved," Colgate coach Dan Hunt said. "And by that, I mean the teams and families but also the allotment of resources used for the game that could be better used somewhere else.

"We immediately gave up our hotel rooms so that more rooms are now available to those coming inland. But we still bought the meals we were going to have and requested that the hotel serve those meals to the people who have been relocated, on us.''

Tennessee is offering free tickets for the Vols' noon game vs. UTEP in Knoxville to those displaced by the storm.   

In Georgia, the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons are also lending support to those affected by Hurricane Florence.

The Braves are offering free tickets for their three-game series starting Friday against the Nationals to any person from the Carolinas forced to evacuate because of the storm.

The Falcons, meanwhile, have donated $1 million toward hurricane relief efforts.

The Charlotte Hornets have announced that they will work with community organizations to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Florence.

"It's truly devastating for me to see the damage that Hurricane Florence is doing to my beloved home state of North Carolina and to the surrounding areas," Hornets chairman Michael Jordan said in a statement. "The recovery effort will be massive, and it will take a long time to repair the damage and for families to get back on their feet. ... To all those affected, stay safe and know that we're here to help."

Jordan, the Hornets and the NBA are taking donations. Those funds will go to the American Red Cross, Foundation for the Carolinas and the United Way, among other groups.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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