There's a time to panic and a time to stay calm, but when your program's facilities begin to go up in flames coming off four straight losses, including a blowout to Duke just two days prior, you have to wonder whether it's time to hit that button.
THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE! Literally. I think it's safe to say the last 10 days have gone pretty terribly for the Virginia football program. After losing at home to Louisiana Tech and benching the team's starting quarterback, then getting man-handled by Duke in Durham, the Cavaliers' new indoor practice facility, currently under construction, caught on fire Monday.
It appears that the fire started on the roof of the construction project, not far from the McCue Center on Grounds. The facility, which will be named after former Virginia head coach George Welsh, was expected to be completed in time for spring practice in February. Those expectations may need to be recalibrated in light of today's events. A sizeable portion of the roof was burned off in today's fire, but luckily it appears that nobody was hurt. The fire also seems to have been limited to just the roof, as there isn't much else on the building to burn at this point. We don't have any real engineers at Streaking the Lawn (Sorry, Tim and Tiki), but it's safe to say that the building's steel will need to be inspected to make sure the fire didn't cause serious damage to the building's foundation.
This situation is developing, so all the details aren't quite available yet. But if I'm, the ways these past few days have gone, I wouldn't go walking under ladders or anything like that. The Virginia athletic department surely has the multi-million dollar construction project insured, so hopefully more fundraising efforts for a truly imperative project for the program aren't necessary. I mean, it's hard enough getting some fans to buy tickets and show up for games, good luck asking them to donate to a facility they will never set foot in, for the second time.
The cause of the fire is likely due to construction workers cutting a hole on the roof for lightning rods, when sparks ignited tar and insulation, according to Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but speculations of the true cause are running rampant on Twitter, including suspicious looks at Maryland fans leading up to this Saturday's game and inquiries as to whether Rector Helen Dragas is covering her tracks from this summer's failed coup.
Additional pictures from Twitter:
The roof of UVa new indoor facility (under construction) is on fire. UVa firefighters on the scene, twitter.com/UVa_Football/s…— Virginia Football (@UVa_Football) October 8, 2012