High school football coaches unhappy with Florida State home game on Friday night – Florida Times-Union
Friday night college football is nothing new. ESPN began televising games on that night 10 years ago and this season NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision conferences scheduled 65 games on Fridays.
But for the first time, one of the two major Florida programs will host a game on Friday night when the 19th-ranked Florida State Seminoles play Boston College at Doak Campbell Stadium (7:30 p.m., ESPN2) — and even FSU coach Jimbo Fisher isn’t happy about it.
“I hate it,” he said earlier this week.
Although the game has been scheduled for nearly a year, the realization has hit home for high school coaches across the state – especially those who have teams in the first round of the state playoffs, which begin this week.
No one has any idea of how many Florida State fans will pass on watching their hometown high school team play in favor of going to Tallahassee for the game, going to a sports bar or staying home to watch the ‘Noles on TV.
But since most high school programs operate on shoestring budgets, and most of those budgets are funded heavily by football revenue, any loss of fans who buy a ticket, a hot dog and a soda is likely to be felt.
Shelton Crews, the executive director of the Tallahassee-based Florida Athletic Coaches Association, labeled the major college conferences and ESPN, which televises almost all of the Friday night NCAA football, as “bullies.”
“Playing college football on Friday night is a slap in the face to high school football, which is the lifeblood of the college game,” said Crews, the former football coach at Tallahassee Godby. ”It’s not the school’s faults. It’s ESPN and the hierarchy of college football, the conferences, who are doing this. We’re being squeezed out because of money.”