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College Football

Jim Harbaugh blasts Big Ten plan to play games on Friday night

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Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has joined the chorus of critics calling out the Big Ten for its plan to play games on Friday nights beginning next season. Harbaugh’s biggest problem with the decision is how it takes away from the attention that should be on high school football on that night.

The recent developments concerning Friday night Big Ten games stems from the conference’s new television deal. Penn State and Ohio State won’t be asked to host games, so says Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney. Michigan already has gone on record as stating they will not play at home or on the road on Friday nights.

Penn State issued a statement earlier this week saying it will not reconsider hosting Friday night games.

Minnesota Gophers head coach Tracy Claeys also went on record to blast scheduling games on Friday night.

“I’m not a fan obviously of doing that,” Claeys said, via the Star Tribune. “I think that Friday night should be for high school football games. I believe that, and high school football is so important — especially to all the smaller communities.

“And being in a city and an atmosphere with a lot of teams in this area, I hope ours is on the road quite frankly, if we play on Friday night.”

Ohio State, meanwhile, said it would be amenable to playing on the road on Friday night in September. Michigan State has stated it would only host a Friday night game on Labor Day Weekend.

Wisconsin seems open to hosting a game on Friday night on Labor Day Weekend as well, but hasn’t committed to one just yet.

Suffice to say, the revelation that the new television deal has compelled the Big Ten to ram through Friday night games isn’t being well received by many of the conference’s football programs. How the conference proceeds from this point remains to be seen. But for all intents and purposes, it appears Friday night Big Ten games are coming.