USF coach Jim Leavitt would rather play on Saturday. “High school football, I think, should have Fridays,” Leavitt said. “But we’re going to [play on Friday]. We’re fortunate to be able to play on TV… That’s the positive part of it all, but I’ve always been a big proponent of high school football and coaches, and you hate.. I think television hates getting in that situation also. It is what it is, I guess. High school football means a lot to me, but how often do you play on TV?”
Hillsborough High football coach Earl Garcia, a USF alum, told the paper: “I don’t like it a darn bit. It’s biting the hand that feeds you. If USF draws 35,000 – and I hope they draw 100,000 – somewhere in there will be football fans that would have seen their high school play. It’s frustrating for us. Our kids are the ones supplying the colleges. We need the money, too.”
In 2001, the NCAA removed its national ban for playing on Friday nights. The USF contest against Rutgers is its third home Friday night game in the past four seasons.
“I assume by going on TV they’re going to make a lot of money,” Hillsborough County Athletic Director Vernon Korhn said. “We wish they wouldn’t play on Fridays. It will hurt our games at some of the local high schools.”
“I don’t like a darn thing about it,” Garcia said. “It’s disrespectful for colleges to play on Fridays. I don’t see any positive out of it.”