No Helmets, No Pads, No College Football Game

St. Paul's couldn't play season opener

No helmets, no pads -- no season opener.

A Division II school in Virginia canceled the opening game of its 2009 football season because it didn't have those essential pieces of equipment.

St. Paul's College has ordered the equipment but it hasn't arrived yet, so the school canceled this past Saturday's game against West Virginia Wesleyan, Wesleyan athletic director Ken Tyler said Friday.

Tyler, "flabbergasted" over the decision, said St. Paul's AD Leroy Bacote called him with the news Thursday, less than 24 hours before the Wesleyan team was scheduled to travel to play the game in South Hill, Va.

Bacote declined comment Friday. St. Paul's President Robert L. Satcher Sr. and Leon Kerry, commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, didn't immediately return telephone messages.

Wesleyan made sure to state on its Web site that St. Paul's was responsible for any costs associated with the cancellation of the game.  Tyler also issued a statement:

"In my nearly 20 years of work in collegiate athletics, I have never experienced anything like this," Tyler said. "We are extremely disappointed for our student-athletes and coaches who have been working so hard in anticipation of this game. I know our coaches and players will make the best of this difficult situation and turn their attention to our ‘new' opener next week at Urbana University."

Here's hoping Urbana had the foresight to find some equipment before the season started.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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