September 2, 2008

Lions displaced by Hurricane Gustav

As if facing a Southeastern Conference opponent like Mississippi State isn't bad enough for a team like Southeastern Louisiana, they must also contend with Mother Nature this week.

The Lions were evacuated from their campus in Hammond, La., on Sunday and have taken retreat at a Methodist Church Camp in Northern Mississippi and practicing at Ole Miss.

"Coach (Houston) Nutt and the staff at Ole Miss have been fantastic," Lucas said. "They're letting us use the visitor's locker room, their weight room, their washing facilities and because of the rain we are practicing today in their indoor facility this morning. They've been great. It's been a little tough but we're making it through."

Lucas said his team departed Hammond on Sunday for the expected four-hour trek to Oxford, Miss., but the trip took 10 hours because of evacuation traffic.

The Lions will practice at Ole Miss the rest of the week in preparation for Saturday's match-up with Mississippi State. This is a road Lucas and his staff travel not too long ago when Hurricane Katrina hit.

"We're planning on staying here right through to the ball game on Saturday," Lucas said. "After Katrina, we were down there with no air conditioning and no ice so it makes it difficult to get much done. At least here we are taken well care of. We have air conditioning, we have a place to practice and lift wrights. We'll probably stay here at least through Sunday."

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