UCF football is off until next Thursday, so a group of Knights fans were planning on making a trip to check out College GameDay.
The show is in Jacksonville for Florida vs. Georgia. Last year, the undefeated Knights became rabble rousers in the sport, claiming a national title, despite not getting an invite to the College Football Playoff.
Some fans of the Gators apparently didn't take kindly to that, and threatened violence against any UCF fans who showed up.
Plans for the UCF fan trip to College GameDay was announced yesterday.
From Knight News:
Orlando lawyer Chad Barr will be leading an effort to bus dozens of fans and alumni to College GameDay in Jacksonville.
The Facebook group “UCF to the CFP,” along with fan club “Knight Watch,” organized two buses “to show what UCF Nation is all about.” A short drive to Jacksonville built a quick roster of those planning to attend.
Alumni and former players made generous donations to fund the caravan, either with cash or by seats. UCF Athletics offered to make and donate props and signs, similar to what was broadcasted last Saturday in Pullman (a flashing UCF sign), according to the group.
Just hours later, they began to get "credible threats" via social media.
After more alleged threats came in, Barr, who organized the trip, posted that he was canceling the bus.
The full text, via Knight News:
It’s with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the buses to Jacksonville. We appreciate UCF for their support of this adventure. We want to thank all the people who signed up to go. Most of all we want to thank all the UCF students, fans and alumni who generously gave enough money for 2 buses in the last 3 days. The UCF community is strong and united and we found this out first hand.
When we started this, the intention was to have fun with fellow Knights on a trip to remember while respectfully showing up to Gameday to promote the UCF brand. We believe in what Danny White has said and we were going to support him and UCF.
When we planned this, we expected some to support us, some to scoff and some to tease us, but in the last few days we have seen the ugly side of college sports. A select few of the fans of the teams represented in Jacksonville have openly and credibly threatened to meet us, pepper spray, throw glass beer bottles, steal flags, steal signs and overall physically attack us on sight. We have also been advised by local Jacksonville residents and authorities that there is some risk associated with being in this area both during the wee hours of the morning and based on the size of crowds that attend this event. We have looked into security but the cost is prohibitive for the 12-14 hour excursion and I simply don’t think its even worth having a security detail for a fun-natured college football excursion.
Some might say that these are just “keyboard warriors” and not to take them seriously but we have older folks and small children committed to make this trek. It simply is not worth it.
I want to be clear that those select few that have threatened to harm us or wish ill will towards us because we dare to enter their “territory” to represent our beloved school on a national television show do not represent all the fans of those teams, nor those 2 schools, but we must still be vigilant, protect our own, and err on the side of caution.
For those that donated, we will promptly refund your money. There will still be people coming up as well as people from the Jacksonville alumni group, but unfortunately, it won’t be organized by us. To anyone still going, we know you will represent UCF well.
We have not bowed down, and we do not consider this a defeat, but there is a time and a place and everything. I regret that college football has come to this, but rest assured, that I in conjunction with UCF Knights Watch will continue to build the UCF brand through new and unique ways. WE are UCF! #ChargeOn
The post shows some tweets sent by fans of other teams. While it is unclear the full extent of them, any threats of violence over a College GameDay appearance are pretty ridiculous.
Hopefully there are no incidents involving anyone heading to Jacksonville this weekend.