The University of Akron’s $1.17 million payout from Nebraska is in question.

Football players from both teams were pulled off the field at Memorial Stadium immediately after the opening kickoff Saturday night because of lightning in the Lincoln area. The game was called off after a two-hour, 40-minute delay.

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos had discussions with Akron about resuming the game Sunday at 10:30 a.m., but the Zips balked.

“During the delay, there were numerous scenarios discussed for contingency plans for playing the game, including a scenario to play the game on Sunday,” Moos said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, Akron faced some logistical challenges and the decision was made to cancel the game.”

Moos was unavailable for interviews about his dealings with Akron. UA Athletics Director Larry Williams said Sunday the school is “still working through the issues.”

As for whether Akron would receive its payout from Nebraska, deputy athletic director Bob Burton said, “I think that’s to be determined.”

“When Bill went to meet with Akron about a game on Sunday, he came back and said they did not want to play,” Burton said. “Once they decided not to play, they decided to load up, and I imagine the universities will be talking in the future.”

Akron’s position

In a statement late Sunday, Williams said: “Last night during the lightning delay, The University of Akron tried to secure accommodations for the team within a reasonable distance from Lincoln, Neb. These accommodations were not available or would have required our team to stay in multiple locations which is not in the best interests of our team and student-athletes.

“Also, thunderstorms were anticipated throughout the Lincoln area on Sunday, making even the opportunity to play very questionable.

“The University of Akron and The University of Nebraska are in discussions to make up the game in Week 14 of the college football season should either team need the game to become bowl eligible.

“The announcement of the potential of playing the game on Sunday was unfortunate, but premature, as both teams and Fox had not agreed to the details of playing the game.”

Meanwhile, with bowl eligibility potentially at stake for both schools later in the season, officials at Nebraska and Iowa State said Sunday they’ll work to find new opponents to fill out their schedules after their openers were canceled because of severe weather.

Severe weather

Nebraska and Iowa State were among several teams across the nation that contended with weather problems Saturday on the first full weekend of college football. In addition to Akron-Nebraska, the South Dakota State-Iowa State game was called off shortly after it started, and other games had lengthy delays.

A team needs to win six games to assure itself of bowl eligibility. Nebraska went 4-8 last season and hopes to rebound under new coach Scott Frost. Burton said Nebraska would begin looking immediately for an opponent, whether it be from the Bowl Subdivision or second-tier Championship Subdivision. The Cornhuskers have an open date Oct. 27.

“I think we’re going to consider everything,” he said.

Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard, who was unavailable for an interview, wrote in a letter to fans Sunday the Cyclones are trying to find an opponent to play either on its October open date or on Dec. 1 if, at that time, it needs another win to achieve bowl eligibility. The Cyclones were 8-5 last season and have high hopes for this year.

Iowa State’s game against South Dakota State was canceled shortly after it started because of storms in the Ames area.

Pollard wrote there was no serious consideration given to playing the game Sunday because it would have required finding lodging for SDSU late Saturday night, thrown off preparations for the teams’ games this week, and the Sunday forecast called for more stormy weather.

South Dakota State is unavailable during Iowa State’s Oct. 20 open date and hopes to be participating in the FCS playoffs on Dec. 1, which also is the same date as the Big 12 championship game. ISU officials said South Dakota received its payout of $425,000.

“We began working late last night to identify other opponents we could play during our bye week or during championship week,” Pollard wrote, adding that a prospective opponent would have to be available on one of those dates and also be eligible, either by having had a game canceled or having not scheduled a full slate of games.

“Needless to say, it will be difficult to find an opponent that meets those requirements and is interested in coming to Ames,” Pollard wrote.

If the Cyclones achieve six wins by November, he said, a 12th regular-season game wouldn’t be needed.

“As a result, we may keep our bye week as is and simply develop a contingency plan for a game on Dec. 1, should we need a 12th game for bowl eligibility,” he wrote.

What’s next?

Burton demurred when asked if it would be possible for Nebraska to play Iowa State, a team it met annually when a member of the Big 12 and its previous iterations. Burton said he hadn’t thought about it and declined further comment.

Moos, in his statement, said, “Regarding any potential additions or adjustments to the 2018 football schedule, we will explore and discuss those options in the coming weeks. In the meantime, fans are encouraged to hold onto their tickets from last night’s game in the event a game were to be added later in the season.”