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10/01/2017 - From The Press Box: Keep Major College Football Away On Friday Nights

From The Press Box

Like a broken record, the same statements have been echoed across Nebraska that college football does not belong on Friday nights in the middle of the high school season.

I couldn't agree more.

Still, there were some football games across the state that played at the normal 7pm kickoff time because school officials said they didn't care about the Nebraska start time and weren't going to make adjustments.

To those athletic directors, I commend you.

To the ADs who went out of their way to accommodate everyone by playing games late in the afternoon on Friday, thank you for putting in the extra time to reschedule and making sure you got everyone home in time to capture most of the Nebraska-Illinois game.

To the University of Nebraska and Lincoln Public Schools, thank you for being accommodating to host two high school football games at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.  I happened to be in attendance of the Lincoln Northeast/Fremont game and I noticed what looked like more people from both teams in attendance inside the 90,000-plus seat cathedral on One Stadium Drive.

You know, after watching that game I wouldn't mind seeing UNL and LPS scheduling at least two high school double-headers at Memorial Stadium each season. 

To former Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, I hope this sends a message that TV money shouldn't always matter to get extra revenue for the conference schools. 

Nebraska's coaching staff has no interest to play on Friday nights, NU president Hank Bounds and UNL chancellor Ronnie Green each expressed the same beliefs.

Nebraska doesn't need the extra Friday night exposure like schools such as Rutgers, Purdue, Illinois or other bottom-tiered Big Ten schools.  While the national prominence has dropped, Nebraska football is not completely irrelevant.  Husker football can still fit into the Saturday college football landscape.

Reading Mike Patterson's article in the Omaha World-Herald this weekend, Millard South football coach and former Husker Andy Means even expressed how he thought it wasn't right for Nebraska to play their game at Illinois on Friday.

Some high school fans resorted to their smartphone apps to watch the Husker game while cheering on their local teams.  Others likely tuned out the local radio station play-by-play of the high school game, while flipping it over the Husker Sports Network to keep up with the Big Red.

Mr. Delany and Mr. Eichorst, perhaps, forgot their roots when it comes to considering the impact of college football toward the high school game on Friday nights, especially featuring the conference's best and worst teams in action.  Potential or committed recruits aren't going to tell their high school coach or AD to purposely move their game around so he can attend the Husker game on a Friday night.

While it may not have a major impact in some markets, college football for the rest of the landscape on Fridays doesn't work within fans' work schedules, kids' extracurricular activities. 

Leave Friday nights to the high school kids.  Let Boise State, BYU and other mid-major schools try to clamor for the national TV spotlight on Fridays.  It's worked for them, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will work for major conferences.  For the casual football fan, they may not care any way or another. 

For the purists, it's about keeping the Friday night tradition alive.

I suppose I'm a purist. 

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