Illlinois high school football games moved from Friday to Saturday because of college football

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The debate over whether college football is infringing too much on high school football on Friday nights received a “yes”, so too speak, with the announcement that the University of Illinois will allow eight area high school football teams to play at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 22.  The Illini opened-up their stadium after the Big 10 Conference decided to play the Penn State vs. Illinois game on Friday, September 21 in Champaign.

Here’s the schedule for the four games that will be played 9/22:

10 AM – Peoria Notre Dame vs. Champaign Centennial

1 PM – Olympia vs. Tolono Unity

4 PM – Bloomington vs. Urbana

7 PM – St. Thomas More (Champaign) vs. Rantoul

Over the last three or four years, more-and-more college football games are being scheduled on Friday nights, which has raised the ire of high school football coaches and fans alike.

Last year, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was outspoken in telling the Big Ten that it believed Friday nights were for high school football and the conference listened by moving a scheduled Friday game for the Wildcats to Saturday.

In August, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) passed a resolution urging schools and teams at the college and professional levels to schedule games on days other than Friday.

A website called currently has a list of Friday night games for Week 1 of this season.  It indicates that there are three games on Friday, August 31: San Diego State at Stanford, Utah State at Michigan State and Western Kentucky at Wisconsin.


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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.