Friday Night Talks

May 18, 2017

During its annual meeting earlier this week, the Big Ten invited administrators from several high school athletic associations in the Midwest to discuss football scheduling. The conference’s new agreements with Fox and ABC/ESPN mean that some Big Ten football games will be played on Friday nights this year, in direct competition with high school games.

In an article in The Detroit Free PressJosh Whitman, Athletic Director at the University of Illinois, defended the new schdule.

“Obviously, you play at whatever time on a Saturday afternoon, you’re competing with dozens of other games,” Whitman said. “A chance to be on a national platform, I think, is great for our program.”

Mark Hollis, Athletic Director at Michigan State University, elaborated on Whitman's thoughts.

“If you remember when we were building our men’s basketball program, it was ‘Anyone, anywhere, anyplace, any time,’ It was to get that exposure,” Hollis told the Free Press. “We have so many more teams in the Big Ten trying to find those windows that allow you to get that exposure for the whole league is important. I’m not surprised, because you always want to be on TV, you want to create those windows. You understand the challenges with high school but I also think if you have that communication early on, it gives the ability to create some pretty special times in those communities and high schools can adapt.”

From New World Of Coaching
In 1978, 26-year-old Kevin Donley was the youngest head coach in college football when he took the reins at Anderson College. Thirty-eight years later, he has become the winningest active coach in the nation, while leading the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) to its first national title in the 2016 NAIA championship game. He explains how he motivates players and develops team leaders.