No one in college football can blame the Big Ten for wanting to make more money (it is a business, despite popular conjecture). But sometimes a line has to be drawn.
As part of its recent contract extension with ESPN and Fox, the Big Ten agreed to play a Friday night schedule. This was not well-received news by many of the members of the conference. Perhaps the loudest to object was Northwestern.
According to a report from The Chicago Tribune, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald argued that Friday games would 1) detract from high school football and 2) disrupt his players’ class schedules. The story also pointed out that fans had concerns about work schedules, traffic and the lack of tailgate time.
The conference agreed to the six-game, Friday schedule for the next six seasons with no games to be scheduled in November. The Wildcats only were expected to play one game at home (vs. Michigan State on Oct. 27) and one on the road (at Maryland on Oct. 13). However, when the schedule was revealed, Northwestern was the only team with more than one appearance.
But it looks like the squeaky wheel has been greased. The Tribune reported that Fitzgerald received “great news” and will not have to play on Friday.
According to the collegefootballsports.com, it’s not clear how the Big Ten couldn’t have seen the “unintended consequences” of football games on weeknights coming before they made the announcement.
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