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ODU delays first W & M game

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: June 29, 2008
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June 29, 2008

Old Dominion did the math. And it realized that a start-up football program couldn't possibly be ready for an opponent such as William and Mary only in its second game.

So the Monarchs opted out of their 2009 game against the Tribe and found another opponent -- Central Connecticut State -- to fill in for them. ODU will pay Central a $50,000 guarantee for agreeing to the switch, and then the Monarchs will host William and Mary in 2010.

The series with W&M was signed in September of 2006, five months before Bobby Wilder was hired as Old Dominion's head football coach. School officials were concerned that the Monarchs wouldn't be strong or experienced enough to take on W&M that early and asked to push the series back a year.

"I give a lot of credit to William and Mary, particularly (athletic director) Terry Driscoll and (football coach) Jimmye Laycock," Wilder said. "They worked with us to adjust the schedule, and quite honestly they didn't have to do that. They could have just said, 'No, we have a contract.'

"But they understood what our concerns were, and I appreciate them working with us. It's something I will not forget."

Old Dominion's first game in 2009 will be at home against Chowan on Sept. 5.

Other games on the schedule include Jacksonville, Monmouth, Presbyterian, Georgetown, VMI and North Carolina Central.

"We tried to put together the type of schedule that would give us a chance to compete in 2009 with a roster that will be made up predominantly of true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and walk-ons," Wilder said. "Then in 2010, that would put us at (our third) year with the kids on the team, and we should be able to step up our level of competition.

"Then, when we get to 2011, we'll be playing eight (Colonial Athletic Association) games. And based that we're in the South with William and Mary, Richmond and James Madison, we'll be playing those teams every year. We look forward to that. That's why I took the job."

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