Saving Friday Night

January 25, 2017

Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would keep all Iowa Board of Regents universities from playing football games on Friday nights. This was in response to a report that the University of Iowa would potentially play football games on Friday nights.

“High school football games, sometimes those are the things that bring everyone together in our communities,” Representative Peter Cownie, R-West Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register. “Some traditions I think are sacred in our state.”

In the Big Ten's new contracts with Fox, ESPN, and ABC, league schools are slated to play six Friday night games in a season, with the University of Iowa likely hosting some of those. The Iowa High School Athletic Association was quick to note how this would affect high school football.

“This negative impact would not only be in terms of attendance, but also coverage by radio stations, print media and television highlights,” Alan Beste, executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, said in a release reported by the Des Moines Register. “Due to increased traffic, schools around the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas would potentially be impacted more than those farther from Iowa City. Even a nationally televised away game would have a negative impact on high school programs by dividing the fan base."

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