Sept. 18, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Unable to re-schedule last week's cancelled football game with Colorado, Washington State University officials announced today the Cougars will play host to the Montana State Bobcats Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m., completing WSU's 11-game schedule.
"Given the tragic events of last week and the circumstances surrounding our schedule, we are fortunate to be able to line up a team that can play the only open week we have in our regular season schedule," said WSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk.
"Colorado was not able play us on another date because we do not have a similar open date and their conference playoffs begin Dec. 1," Sterk added. Colorado started the season with 12 games, plus the possibility of participating in the Big 12 playoffs.
WSU officials said they had few options in filling the 11th game once the Colorado game was cancelled. "Our limitations were to find a team that could play during the week of Oct. 18-20, our only open weekend," Sterk said. "We do not feel a game at home Thanksgiving weekend is an option because our students and other local fans will not be in town during the academic break. Playing Thanksgiving weekend would be far from ideal for our team and for our fans."
"Idaho has a game scheduled Oct. 20 in (WSU's) Martin Stadium (Louisiana-Lafayette, 1 p.m.)," Sterk pointed out, "so hotel rooms are already at a premium for the weekend. In addition, the ability to televise the game live was not available if we played Saturday because our Pacific-10 Conference television partners will be showing league games. FOX Sports Northwest, however, was willing to air the game live Thursday, which will give both teams excellent exposure in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana."
"We have already shown we can handle a Thursday night game during the academic week," Sterk said. "Through the cooperation of many people and groups on campus, we were able to conduct the Idaho game on a Thursday with little disruption and I have every confidence we can do the same for the Montana State game," he added.
Sterk said the athletic department would offer a one-for-one ticket exchange for all fans who have tickets to the cancelled Colorado game, including season ticket holders. The offer is subject to ticket availability, with an exchange deadline of Friday, Oct. 5.
"We will allow all fans with Colorado tickets to exchange those tickets at a one-for-one rate for any remaining WSU game, but the offer is subject to ticket availability and is for the best remaining tickets for each game," he said. "Many of our fans have already said they understand our financial circumstances and don't want to take advantage of our situation. However, we recognize the cancellation of the Colorado game has caused a hardship for others and we hope the exchange will work for them."
WSU Ticket Manager John Nelson said Cougar fans may exchange their Colorado tickets for a future game this Saturday at the WSU-California game, or they may call the WSU ticket office to arrange the exchange. "We will be set up to make exchanges this Saturday before, during and after the California game," Nelson said.
Nelson also said Cougar fans do not need to exchange their Colorado tickets if they plan to use them for the Montana State game. "We will accept Colorado tickets at the Montana State game, but if they would rather use the Colorado tickets for California, Oregon State, Oregon or UCLA, they need to exchange them by our Oct. 5 deadline."
Fans unable to exchange their tickets at the California game may exchange them by the Oct. 5 deadline at the WSU ticket office in Pullman, or by calling 1-800-GO-COUGS and selecting Option 3. Nelson also said tickets originally purchased through G&B Select-A-Seat outlets must exchange them by the Oct. 5 deadline at the G&B office at the Spokane Arena or by calling G&B at 1-800-GO-COUGS, Option 2.
Sterk also said that while some fans had suggested they would like the money generated through the purchase of Colorado tickets to be sent to the Red Cross, it does not appear such gifts would be possible, based on Washington ethics laws. "While the gesture of some of our fans is heartwarming, unfortunately we cannot, as a State agency, make a donation," he explained. "However we can assist the Red Cross effort by allowing our student body representatives access to the stadium entrances at the California game for their fund raising efforts."
"WSU students have taken an active role in helping the Red Cross with their East Coast Relief program, including the accepting of donations and the sale of special ribbons and T-shirts," said WSU Associated Student Body President Jesse Keene. "We have faith Cougar fans attending the California game Saturday will join our student effort by making donations or purchasing a ribbon or shirt to assist the efforts of the Red Cross."
The T-shirts being sold by the WSU students have, "I (heart) NY & DC" imprinted on the front and, "We will not live in fear, we will not live in terror" on the back.