FAU football team arrives in Madison; players, coaches concerned - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

FAU football team arrives in Madison; players, coaches concerned about family and friend left behind in Florida

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Florida Atlantic football team arrives at Dane County Regional Airport Friday. Florida Atlantic football team arrives at Dane County Regional Airport Friday.

MADISON (WKOW) --- One group of student athletes from southern Florida was lucky to get out of the way of Hurricane Irma in time.

The Florida Atlantic University football team arrived in Madison Friday ahead of their game with UW-Madison Saturday. But football was the furthest things from the player's mind. They couldn't help thinking about family and friends they left behind in Boca Raton.

“We're blessed we were able to get out,” said FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun. “I got the scene there was a little bit of relief that once we got in the air. Our thought and prayer are with everyone that is going to come in the path of Irma,” he said.

Hurricane Irma – one of the most powerful storms every recorded in the Atlantic – is expected to reach Florida on Sunday.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has ordered all schools, colleges, universities throughout the state to close. So UW-Madison has welcomed the team with open arms.

“We are fortunate that Coach Alvarez has been very gracious to us already. He made it very clear to us how they would help us should we be stuck out here,” Chun said.

Other schools in Florida decided to cancel their games. But Chun said after speaking with UW officials, they decided the best thing to do was to get the athletics out of harms way.

“A lot of the cancellations happened within the last 24 hours or the remainder of them. And at that point, we didn't feel it would be safe for our student athletes to just let them go.”

In the grand scheme of things, it's just a football game. But Chun said it provides Florida Atlantic players a distraction, at least for a couple of hours.

“But the reality is we're going to have to go back home. Hopefully there's something to go back to.”

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