Photo via Watch Stadium.com
The Big Ten Conference’s decision to play Friday night football games this season and in subsequent years hasn’t exactly garnered universal positive reactions from collegiate and high school communities.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and Penn State’s James Franklin said their schools wouldn’t participate, and Indiana’s Tom Allen voiced his objection. After initially saying Ohio State would play Friday games on occasion, according to an article by Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch, OSU athletic director Gene Smith seems to have changed course.
“We don’t think Ohio State is a program that will ultimately play on Friday night,” Smith said. “We’re more valuable on a Saturday for our television partners. We don’t need to play on a Friday night.”
“If you’re running a network, would you put us on Friday night or Saturday? ... Friday night is not our world.”
Unhappy coaches, administrators, fans and even lawmakers like Iowa Rep. Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines) – who advanced legislation that would ban Iowa Board of Regents universities from playing football on Friday nights – say Fridays belong to high school football.
“To go against the high school fans is not right,” Ohio High School Athletic Association Director of Communications Tim Stried said. “The colleges should stick to playing on Saturday, leave high school Friday night alone, and support high schools playing on Friday night.”
Watch the video below on other Big Ten coaches' opinions on the value of high school football maintaining the spotlight on Friday nights.