The University of Hawaii is actively scouting for a possible replacement for Fordham in case the Rainbow Warriors’ scheduled Sept. 12 football game is canceled, officials confirmed.
Fordham is expected to announce next week a decision not to play at Aloha Stadium as booked. UH athletic director David Matlin said while the Rams have yet to notify him of a cancellation, the search for a substitute is underway just in case.
Matlin said nothing has been finalized and declined to say what schools UH is talking to.
Meanwhile, Navy was left with a Sept. 12 opening when Lafayette announced on Friday it is canceling its scheduled appearance at Annapolis. But the chances of the Midshipmen and ’Bows hooking up would be a longshot, about as long as the 4,853 miles it would take for one of them to get to the other.
Fordham is a football-only member of the Patriot League, whose Council of Presidents announced on June 22 a guidance plan for fall competition. Key provisions of that plan mandated that, “No Patriot League teams will fly to competitions and, with rare exceptions, regular-season competition will exclude overnight travel.”
The Rams, whose campus is in New York City, had been scheduled to fly from Newark, N.J., to Honolulu.
A UH-Navy game would be unlikely for several reasons due to the distance, concerns about COVID-19 and where the Sept. 12 falls on an already difficult schedule.
UH is scheduled to play at Oregon on Sept. 19, meaning adding Navy to the schedule would set up an Arizona, UCLA, Navy and Oregon gauntlet in consecutive weeks.
Navy, coached by former UH quarterback Ken Niumatalolo, opens with Notre Dame Sept. 5 at Annapolis and goes to Tulane Sept. 19. The Notre Dame game had originally been scheduled for Dublin, Ireland, Aug. 29 but was moved due to the pandemic.
A Navy spokesman said the Midshipmen are looking for a home game to replace Lafayette, which said it will not bring back its football team to campus with enough time to meet medical advisory guidelines. The spokesman said he had not heard Hawaii mentioned as a possible replacement.