Color me a little surprised by the next hill the American Football Coaches Association has decided to assault.
The American Football Coaches Association will begin to ask the NCAA to consider a process adjusting game times that better benefit athletes this week.
Time demands on players have become a top NCAA priority. Coaches and administrators have increasingly complained about teams getting back from road trips in the middle of the night — or early morning — after night games.
AFCA executive director Todd Berry told CBS Sports, “We feel like there are times when you’re traveling cross country or on a long bus ride. If someone is not getting back until 4 in the morning because of a start time, is this really fair to the student-athlete?”
The proposal is preliminary and will be made while Berry is in Indianapolis this week as an ex-officio member of the NCAA Oversight Committee. That committee would have to first consider the measure before it is passed up the chain to become formal legislation.
Berry would not reveal any specifics, but he says there is a detailed plan regarding time zones and when schools return from road trips…
Don’t get me wrong. This appears to be a legitimate “think of the children” concern and I applaud the coaches for going there.
Inevitably, any such discussion about earlier game times will have to involve TV partners. Industry sources say such time adjustments are a long shot. The television rights held by the networks allow them to dictate starting times as a way to recoup the money paid to those conferences. The popularity of those games is reflected in ratings and ad revenue.
“These things are all governed by contracts and the quality of the game,” an industry source said. “The reason the game has become as popular as it has, they’re televised in the best possible time slot.”
Another industry source cited ESPN’s stance. The network has loads of programming to fit into a day. If it allowed outside influence to impact game times, the network “would be out of business.”
Yeah, Mickey might have a problem with that. And since everybody in college football is sucking from that teat — including the coaches, when you get down to it — you’d have to think what’s the WWL’s problem is their problem, too.
In other words, don’t get your hopes up, kids.