Nicholls football team stranded in southern Illinois after loss to SIU
To add insult to injury after losing to SIU in an opening round FCS playoff game Saturday in Carbondale, the Nicholls football team was stranded at Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in Marion for nearly 24 hours.
WGNO-TV in New Orleans reported Nicholls’ group of 140 people arrived at Veterans Airport around 6:15 p.m. on Saturday for an 8 p.m. flight.
Athletic Director Jonathan Terrell reported the flight was canceled because the scheduled pilot had to undergo a 12-hour drug test after the plane he was piloting went off the runway while making a turn.
Then, the NCAA scheduled a 1:30 a.m. flight, which was subsequently canceled without the team's knowledge due to weather concerns.
The article reports the team couldn't find a hotel nearby to accommodate that large of a group on short notice, so the team had to spend the night in the airport.
Airport staff ordered them pizzas and brought them water, but once that ran out, the SIU Athletics Department brought snacks, water and Gatorade to the team early in the morning and the NCAA was able to provide some food for breakfast and lunch.
The Colonels reportedly boarded a flight home at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Nicholls President Jay Clune confirmed the team arrived back to the Louisiana campus around 9:30 p.m.