Workers are busy at Virginia's Scott Stadium repairing 3,200 upper-deck bleacher seats that came loose from their concrete moorings during Saturday's game against North Carolina. The 30-year-old seats were among those taken out and reinstalled this summer during resealing of the concrete surface. Preliminary inspections indicate that the epoxy holding them in place failed.
Those holding tickets for seats in the affected areas were directed to other seats; others remained, either sitting on the damaged bleachers or standing.
In a statement, the school said some fans left the game early when they were no longer able to stay in their seats.
Athletic Director Craig Littlepage said there is "every likelihood" they will be repaired in time for use this weekend, when the Cavaliers host Akron in their homecoming game, but if there is any uncertainty about their readiness, officials said those sections will be closed.
The school reported no injuries Saturday, and Littlepage said fans were generally patient when he visited the affected sections in the second half of the game.
"Although I went up expecting to have my limbs torn away from my body," he said, "generally speaking, our fans did understand that this was something that wasn't going to be solved in one afternoon. . . . I'm pleased that we were able to have people respond as well and as professionally as they did."
Fans in affected sections 530 through 536 will have the option of getting a $35 refund for each ticket or a $40 gift certificate for Virginia merchandise at the stadium. That could add up to a $128,000 cost for U-Va.
Meantime, Virginia officials are monitoring Hurricane Ivan's progress and making sure the field drainage system will be ready to handle the heavy rainfall expected later this week.
Reason for 'Swagger'
After pasting Temple and North Carolina in the season's opening weeks, the Cavaliers are ranked 12th in the nation, higher than any Virginia team since 1998. And the Cavs are starting to feel they're worth it.
"We're not playing cocky, we're not playing arrogant, but we have a little bit of a swagger," senior tailback Alvin Pearman said. "The best teams have that. We haven't had that since I've been here."
The swagger has a good chance to survive into October. Saturday's game is against Akron, which features nationally renowned quarterback Charlie Frye but lost its first two games. Then comes a visit from Syracuse, which opened the season with a 51-0 loss at Purdue.
But if the question is whether the Cavaliers can stay focused and humble until the meat of their schedule arrives, Coach Al Groh said he knows the answer.
"We talk a lot about being the same guy every day and being the same team every week," he said.
Quarterback Marques Hagans appears to be following in the footsteps of predecessor Matt Schaub by ranking among the country's most efficient passers. Hagans's 79.4 completion percentage (27 of 34) is second in the nation and his 192.9 passing efficiency rating is third. . . . Virginia's Sept. 25 home game against Syracuse will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Like the Akron game, it will not be televised. . . . Kick returner Marquis Weeks and offensive lineman Elton Brown were among the ACC weekly honorees announced on Monday.