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Bedlam football must go on

Despite a predicted kickoff temperature of 12 degrees and snow before the game, athletics officials say postponing Saturday's matchup between the Cowboys and Sooners is not on the table.
by Jennifer Palmer Modified: December 6, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: December 5, 2013

Classes were canceled, businesses were closed and officials warned of dangerous travel conditions across the state Thursday.

But in Stillwater, Bedlam football must go on.

Despite a weather forecast of bitterly cold temperatures and possibly snow during Saturday's matchup between Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma, athletics officials say not playing is not an option.

“Football was meant to be an outdoor sport, so we will make every effort to play the game as scheduled,” said Bob Burda, assistant commissioner for the Big 12.

Forecasters predict the temperature at kickoff will be 12 degrees, with a wind chill of zero to 2 degrees. Only the most die-hard fans will endure it.

Games have been delayed due to lightning, but Burda wasn't aware of a Big 12 football game ever being canceled because of the weather. However, the commissioner has the authority to cancel a game, and a school's athletic director could ask to delay or relocate, if circumstances posed a threat to the players' safety.

Gary Shutt, a spokesman for Oklahoma State University, said athletics officials have been meeting to prepare for Saturday's weather but there has been no discussion of postponing the game. Meantime, OSU and OU canceled Friday classes.

“The game is on. We will prepare for it. Fans should dress accordingly. It's going to be very cold,” Shutt said.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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