GAINESVILLE — The Florida men's basketball team will open its 2012-13 season in grand style by participating in the inaugural Navy/Marine Corps Classic against Georgetown on the deck of an aircraft carrier at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville.
This will be the second straight season that two major programs have played games on a naval ship. Last season, North Carolina and Michigan State played on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson Nov. 11 in San Diego Bay.
According to City of Jacksonville officials, all proceeds for the game will go to veterans' causes, including a transitional housing fund for servicemen returning from overseas deployment.
"We're honored to take part in such a special event, and one that brings recognition to the United States Navy and Marine Corps," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "The U.S. Navy has a long and storied history in the city of Jacksonville and this should be a truly special night. To be able to play an opponent and program the caliber of Georgetown in a city that means so much to the Gator Nation is something we're proud to be a part of."
Florida's non-conference schedule now includes Georgetown, Wisconsin, Marquette, Kansas State, at Arizona, UCF, at FSU and at Yale. The Gators' scheduled game against Richmond has been moved to 2013-14 so Florida could add the Georgetown game.
Antonya English, Times staff writer