Because they said so

UIL rules force Thursday night broadcast

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, Special to the News-Telegram

Sept. 7, 2008 - Autumn Friday nights in Texas mean one thing -- high school football. But not so this week in Sulphur Springs.

When Wichita Falls Rider comes to town to face the Wildcats, the game will be played on Thursday night rather than Friday. The reason is simple -- the UIL said so.

Actually, the University Interscholastic League, which governs high school sports in Texas, didn't tell the teams they had to play on Thursday, but the UIL won't allow teams to play live televised games on Friday nights. So the option is to play either Thursday or Saturday.

The UIL's reasoning is based on the assumption that if the gate is opened to broadcasting Friday night games live, then there could be literally hundreds of televised games each week. Everyone from ESPN to FSN to Channel 18 could broadcast local games.

The UIL fears the end result is that some fans would stay home to watch the game on TV rather than attending in person. That would not be good for the players, the concession stands or gate receipts.

The flip side to ESPN broadcasting this week's game is that KSST and Star Country cannot broadcast the game and Channel 18 cannot replay it as they normally do.

Notes: For any local business that does not have time to decorate its windows, the SSHS senior class will do it for a small fee -- $25 for a small business and $50 for a large one. To get your windows decorated prior to Thursday's game, call 903-348-3231 or 903-348-3015.

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