VT hokey pokies around football series with ECU

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU/AP) - Virginia Tech is backing out of football games against East Carolina.

The school announced Saturday that it is replacing September's scrubbed game at East Carolina, as well as its decision to pull out of scheduled games against the Pirates in 2023 and 2025.

Virginia Tech didn't specify who it will play next fall to replace the ECU game, only that the game would be played at home.

The decision comes three months after the Pirates opted not play at Virginia Tech because of safety concerns over travel as Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas.

In a statement, new ECU athletic director Jon Gilbert said Virginia Tech notified the school Friday and called the decision "disappointing."

ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert issued a statement regarding the ECU and Virginia Tech football series situation:

“We received communication from Virginia Tech late Friday afternoon concerning the future of our football series and were notified, contrary to our existing contracts, it would not play ECU in Greenville during the 2019, 2023 and 2025 seasons."

“While this is disappointing, especially from a regional interest standpoint and given our long-standing partnership, ECU's decision not to travel to Blacksburg last September was based on imminent safety concerns related to Hurricane Florence, which tragically claimed multiple fatalities and devastated many North Carolina communities that are still in the recovery process today. Ultimately, the decision was made for the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and their families and that will always be our top priority.”