Michigan High School Sports Affected By Big Ten Decision to Play Friday Games
According to a press release, the executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association said Wednesday that he is “disappointed and disheartened” by the Big Ten Conference announcement that it will play and televise football games on Friday nights beginning with the 2017 season.
Friday night football remains one of the strongest and longest-standing traditions in high school athletics, and the MHSAA has fought since the start of this century to keep Friday nights sacred against the overstepping of college football and the damage televised Big Ten games are now expected to cause to attendance and media coverage of the sport at the high school level.
MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts was contacted by both Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany and Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis before the decision was announced. Roberts said he is appreciative of Michigan State and University of Michigan’s low tolerance to be included in this venture – at most, both will host a Thursday or Friday night game during Labor Day weekend and play one Friday night away game during the remainder of a season – but remains frustrated that similar respect for high school football was not shown by the conference as a whole.