GREENVILLE, N.C. (WAVY) — Governor Roy Cooper released a statement Thursday calling on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to help resolve the football scheduling dispute between East Carolina University and Virginia Tech.
ECU canceled the matchup in Blacksburg due to Hurricane Florence.
Virginia Tech in turn canceled previously scheduled games set to take place in Greenville in 2019, 2023 and 2025.
“As North Carolina prepared for Hurricane Florence, I urged residents across our state to stay off the roads and prepare for this devastating storm,” Cooper said in the release. “Canceling a major college football game means lost revenue, but the safety of players and fans should come first. ECU made the responsible decision and this dispute should be resolved without making Pirate Nation bear additional costs from Hurricane Florence.”
Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 14, 2018, devastating communities across North Carolina and lingering over the state for days, dumping trillions of gallons of rain, and causing 43 deaths, widespread flooding, road closures and an estimated $17 billion in damage.
In the release, Cooper said he wants to keep the rivalry alive without “unfairly penalizing ECU for the storm.”