COLLEGE FOOTBALL PACKAGE: Stoops: Friday night lights should shine on high schools Print
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Wednesday, 19 September 2007 12:27
NCAAF Headline News

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -For years and years, college football left Friday night to the high schools.
There was sort of a gentleman's agreement between universities and secondary schools because colleges did not want to cut into high school football attendance.
They still don't, said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose fourth-ranked Sooners play Tulsa in a made-for TV affair Friday night.
``I think this is the only Friday night game we have had,'' Stoops said, apparently forgetting his season opener at Tulsa in 2002 also fell on a Friday.
``And it isn't something you'll see us doing again for a long, long time.''
Oklahoma State played at Troy on Friday night, so Oklahoma's three biggest schools will all have broken the unwritten rule this year and apparently incurred the wrath of quite a few high school officials around the state.
``It's an absolute travesty for high school football,'' Butch Peters, head coach at Norman (Okla.) High School told the Daily Oklahoman. ``It's going to kill a lot of gates, a lot of crowds. I'm very upset about it. ... I can't believe the NCAA would allow any network to broadcast games on Friday nights.''
Television revenue and exposure have caused universities to schedule Friday night games.
``It's sad that money causes shifts in decades-old traditions,'' said Gary Savely, athletic director at Oklahoma's McGuinness High School. ``But it is a fact of life that cannot be ignored.''
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy also said it's something the Cowboys do not do lightly.
``If we play a game on a Friday night, our thought is to play it out of state, not in-state,'' said Gundy. ``Nobody wants to affect high school football. But then again, do you want to play on national TV? It's kind of a double-edged sword.''
Stoops said Oklahoma consulted with high school officials about their plans.
``Our athletic director, Joe Castiglione, did go to the high school coaches association and check with them before we agreed to do it,'' he said.
``They were OK with it because it isn't something we're going to make a habit of. You probably won't see us do it again. It's not that we need to be on TV. We're on TV every week.''
Tulsa of Conference USA, however, needs to get creative to get itself some TV time.
That may be little comfort to high school officials dealing with diminished crowds and shrunken ticket sales.
``The decision these three Oklahoma universities made to play on Friday was based on the revenue they will gain from the TV broadcast with a total disregard for the revenue Oklahoma high school athletic departments will lose,'' Steve Cothren, athletic director at Lawton High told the Oklahoman.
``I am not saying that because of these two football games we will not be able to fund athletics in Lawton. I am saying that the actions of these three universities are disappointing and show us that we are not important to them.''
OUTHOUSE TO PENTHOUSE: Iowa State's 15-13 upset of Iowa on Saturday was the stuff of Hollywood tear-jerkers.
Bret Culbertson, maligned all over the state, tied a school record with five field goals, the last one a 28-yarder with 1 second left. Culbertson came into the day 0-for-3 for the year and still tagged as the guy who missed a field goal in the finale against Missouri that would've given Iowa State the Big 12 North in 2004.
``I think it's long overdue for him and I think the whole community of Ames, everybody's excited for the kid,'' said coach Gene Chizik. ``I'm proud of Bret. I know there are a lot of critics out there.''
OUT FOR THE YEAR: Nebraska guard Andy Christensen is out for the year with a left knee injury he sustained in the loss to No. 1 USC.
HONORS: Texas tech receiver Michael Crabtree, who set a Big 12 freshman record with 244 yards receiving in the Red Raiders' 59-24 victory at Rice was the conference offensive player of the week.
He leads the nation with 12.67 catches per game, and ranks second in yards at 179.3 a contest.
Texas cornerback Brandon Foster was the defensive player of the week. The senior returned an interception for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and had seven tackles in Texas' 35-32 win at Central Florida.
Bret Culbertson's Iowa State-record five field goals earned him special teams player of the week honors.

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