UF-Idaho game declared no contest, Gators players reinstated

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Even Mother Nature is getting into the act of denying Florida coach Will Muschamp a chance for a win.

Florida and Idaho announced on Wednesday that last Saturday's game -- which was suspended due to heavy rain and lightning in the Gainesville area -- would be declared a no contest and would not be rescheduled for later in the season.

"We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand," Jeremy Foley, Florida's athletic director, said in a statement.

The Vandals will still receive $975,000 from the Gators, as agreed to in the contract for the game. Fans who bought tickets will be given refunds by Florida, and the teams agreed to meet again in 2017.

"I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare," Rob Spear, Idaho's athletic director, said in a statement. "It was not in our best interest to play 10 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017."

Logistics and the existing schedules likely played a factor in the decision to not reschedule the game this season. While both schools had a bye on Oct. 25, it might have been too costly and notice might have been too short to arrange travel and hotels for the visitors.

In addition to creating a situation where Idaho would play 10 weeks straight, playing on Oct. 25 would have taken a bye week away from Florida ahead of its game against rival Georgia in Jacksonville.

Saturday's game was initially delayed by nearly three hours due to heavy rains and a lightning storm. It eventually started, with Florida's Valdez Showers returning the opening kickoff 66 yards, but play was suspended another 40 minutes before things were terminated for good.

Despite not actually playing a game, Muschamp announced that Darious Cummings, Demarcus Robinson and Jay-nard Bostwick would be reinstated to the team after being suspended for the "opener."

"It's not just about suspending players for games," Muschamp said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of things that go into those situations, a lot more than people know. And it's very frustrating for me as a coach ... to have someone being critical and you don't even have all the information."

Well, we do know they were suspended for a grand total of a single play during Week 1. Based on that information, it appears the three Gators players also received a refund of sorts for the Idaho game.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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