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Wilma postpones Georgia Tech-Miami, others

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Hurricane Wilma is giving Miami and
Georgia Tech the weekend off, but Florida Atlantic will still make
its trip to Arkansas State.

With Wilma expected to arrive with potentially devastating force
in Florida this weekend, school and Atlantic Coast Conference
officials postponed Saturday's game between the Yellow Jackets and
sixth-ranked Hurricanes.

Florida Atlantic's football team is at Arkansas State on
Saturday, and scheduled to fly back to South Florida after the game
-- a flight that could be delayed depending on Wilma.

"We're on the road, so we'll probably be better off than
most," said athletic department spokeswoman Katrina McCormick.

No. 20 West Virginia's trip to Tampa to face South Florida was
rescheduled for Dec. 3. The game had been set for Saturday.

Georgia Tech will play at Miami on Nov. 19. Miami's scheduled
trip to Wake Forest on Nov. 17 -- a Thursday night game -- will now
be played on Saturday, Nov. 12. ACC spokesman Brian Morrison said
no decision has been made on whether the league will shift another
game into that Thursday night slot previously held by Miami and
Wake Forest.

Miami athletic director Paul Dee said several scenarios were
considered, but none was as practical.

"There were a lot of elements involved in the game," Dee said.
"The players, the coaches, the fans particularly, allowing them to
come to the game without the pressure of a storm coming down on
us."

It's the fourth time a hurricane has necessitated a schedule
switch of a Miami home game; Hurricane Georges postponed a game
with UCLA for more than two months in 1998, Temple's visit in 1999
was pushed back nearly three months by Hurricane Irene; and Florida
State's trip south for the 2004 season-opener was delayed nearly a
week by Hurricane Frances.

"These things are serious," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "We
know that. If we don't know it, we should just reflect back a few
weeks to Katrina. It came through here as a Category 1 and trust
me, we don't want to see much more."

Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins were taking a wait-and-see
attitude and monitoring the storm's path. The Dolphins are
scheduled to host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.

"Nobody in this room, with all of our power and might put
together, can have anything to do with where it goes," Dolphins
coach Nick Saban said. "What we can try to do is have something to
do with preparing for the game and doing our job well and having
pride in the performance of what we have to do."

The NHL's Florida Panthers had not made any announcement about
Saturday night's game against Ottawa. Team officials said an
announcement would be made by noon Thursday.

Wilma was a Category 5 storm Wednesday, the strongest possible
grade given to a tropical system. It was expected to hit
southwestern Florida, then move quickly across the state and
perhaps close to the greater Miami area by early Sunday.

Wilma would be the eighth hurricane to either strike or brush
Florida since August 2004.

"That thing looks pretty dangerous to me," Georgia Tech coach
Chan Gailey said. "It jumped from a tropical storm to Category 5
in about 20 hours. That's a little scary."

The postponement will give both the Hurricanes and Yellow
Jackets some time to heal.

Miami quarterback Kyle Wright has a sprained right thumb,
affecting his ability to grasp and throw the ball -- but he had
vowed to be ready to play this weekend.

Georgia Tech has more pressing injury concerns, with defensive
tackle Joe Anoai (ankle) and defensive back Djay Jones (leg) not
likely to have played this weekend. Also, quarterback Reggie Ball
and tailback P.J. Daniels were hurt last weekend against Duke.

Central Florida's home game with Tulane -- a team forced from its
city, school and home stadium by Katrina's strike along the Gulf
coast -- will be played on Friday night, instead of Saturday.

"Unfortunately, we have a lot of experience in dealing with
these situations," said Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson.

In other Wilma-related developments:
• The Orlando Magic said Saturday's home NBA preseason game
against Atlanta is still scheduled. The Miami Heat are scheduled to
be on the road for several days around the storm's expected
landfall, meaning their preseason schedule should be largely
unaffected.