Penn State: We’re not hosting
UNIVERSITY PARK — Friday night games are coming to the Big Ten, but they won’t be coming to Beaver Stadium.
A couple of hours after the Big Ten revealed that it will be adding Friday night contests starting next year as part of its new TV package with ABC and Fox, Penn State Athletics released a statement saying the school had notified the Big Ten “that we will not host football games on a Friday night.”
“We are receptive to an occasional day game on the day after Thanksgiving,” Penn State’s statement said. “There are a variety of reasons why, among them, we know how important Friday night high school football is to hundreds of communities across the Commonwealth. In addition, we have considered the impact that a Friday night home football game would have on key community stakeholders.
“We support the conference’s desire to expand exposure for Big Ten Football on national platforms, providing additional content at high demand times, and we’ve agreed to play no more than one away game each year on a Friday night.”
High school football’s regular season in Pennsylvania traditionally lasts until late October or early November, with a playoff structure that continues into mid-December. The vast majority of games are played on Friday nights.
But an occasional Friday night road game appears to be in Penn State’s future.
Michigan informed that the league that it will not be playing any Friday night games at home or on the road, according to the Chicago Tribune, which broke the story.
Penn State coach James Franklin addressed the matter after practice Wednesday night.
“Saturdays are really special at Penn State,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense for us (to play on Saturday) because of our high school football. I think we may play some road games and things like that, but a number of schools had different opinions on how to handle it.
“What’s nice is that the Big Ten has allowed that. I’m appreciative that the Big Ten didn’t force it on every school, and that it can still make sense for the conference.”