The Big Ten’s decision to schedule six Friday night games in 2017 has been met with fierce opposition from some of its members. Nearly half the conference’s schools have announced they’ll either refuse to play on Fridays or demand they only do so in certain circumstances, such as during Labor Day weekend.
Now Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has weighed in with his own anti-Friday stance, citing the tradition of high school games on Friday nights.
Disappointed to learn Big 10 has chosen to infringe on Friday night High school Football. We should promote rather than create obstacles
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) November 4, 2016
On Wednesday, Michigan informed the Big Ten that the university would not participate in Friday night games due to the travel complications posed by its large fan base.
— Rachel Lenzi (@RLenziCMG) November 2, 2016
Reasons that schools oppose playing on Friday include travel complications, traffic issues, unwanted influxes of fans to campus while classes are in session, concerns about tailgating, and respect for the high school game.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association released its own statement Wednesday opposing Friday night Big Ten games.
“We are grateful that Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are trying to minimize the effects of this decision by the Big Ten,” MHSAA executive director John Roberts said in the statement. “But overall, this is just the latest step by major college athletics in the pursuit of cash that is just crushing high school sports.”