Thursday, June 1, 2023

Spartans join national trend with weekend sports sidelined

September 14, 2001

MSU officials, who said Wednesday most of this weekend’s athletic events would take place, announced Thursday that they are called off - including the home football game against Missouri.

The home Mary Fossum Invitational women’s golf tournament and road events in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s golf, volleyball and field hockey were also canceled. Teams will resume play Sept. 21.

MSU President M. Peter McPherson said the game would be postponed because Missouri had difficulties making travel plans.

“I talked to the chancellor of the University of Missouri and he made it clear that they were having substantial logistic difficulties, and they still couldn’t be sure that they had a plane,” McPherson said. “If they bused, they wanted to bus over two days and they were finding it virtually impossible to get a place (en route to East Lansing) for such a large group.”

A makeup date hasn’t been confirmed, MSU spokesman Terry Denbow said Thursday.

“There are no common weekends (when both teams are idle), but we are looking toward later in the season,” Denbow said. “The (Big 12) conference championship game is Dec. 1, but it looks like that might be pushed to Dec. 8. Dec. 1 is a possibility.”

Both teams are disappointed they won’t be able to play Saturday and will make sure the game is rescheduled, Denbow said. If it is, fans can use the original game ticket to get in, he said.

“We’ll do everything we can and we have the assurance of the University of Missouri that they will do everything they can to reschedule the game this season,” he said.

Missouri’s last regular season game is Nov. 17 at Kansas State. MSU’s last regular-season game is Nov. 24 against Penn State.

MSU’s cancellation is in line with a majority of the sporting world. Every NCAA Division I-A football game was postponed, along with Major League Baseball games and Sunday and Monday’s Nation Football League schedule.

Big 12 spokesman Bo Carter said both schools made the right decision in canceling the game.

“I think it’s a great tribute to all the people that have suffered the losses involved in the attacks,” he said. “You can see the other side of the argument though, from the people who want to show these terrorists that America can move on.”

The Big 12 and Big Ten conferences will each donate $1 million to help charities provide aid for the victims of Tuesday’s attacks.

MSU will also donate money, but is unsure how much or to what organization, Denbow said. Officials were also planning a remembrance for Saturday’s game, but it will also be postponed, Denbow said.

“We wanted to have Saturday as a day where we would recognize and pay tribute to the victims,” he said. “People wanted to come together.”

MSU Trustee Dee Cook supported President McPherson’s decision and said the majority of the board supported it as well.

Cook had planned on attending the game, but said it would have been difficult for fans, players and coaches.

“Everyone that was planning on going to this game or playing in this game Saturday wasn’t going to do it without a heavy heart,” Cook said. “Not a time to second guess what people are thinking or doing, we all have to pull together.”

Eric Lacy can be reached at Justin A. Rice can be reached at


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