GAINESVILLE, Fla. — During his appearance on “Gator Talk” on Thursday night inside Piesanos Pints & Pies, new Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin was asked by a woman in attendance if he’d ever consider having the football team schedule a Friday night game.
Stricklin’s old school, Mississippi State, played a Friday night game at BYU in Utah last month.
He said that isn’t something he’ll be looking to arrange for the Gators, though.
“Well, I can tell you the league has kind of frowned on our schools hosting Friday night games for the reason of high school football. That’s such an important part of the south and the culture down here and obviously it’s a pipeline to where we get our players,” Stricklin said. “I think it’s very important that we respect those families that are involved in that and don’t make them have to choose between supporting the Gators and supporting young people who are competing in high school football. So I don’t ever envision (Florida) playing a Friday night game.
“I know there’s an SEC team this year that went out to the Mountain West and played a Friday night game that was really late. It was the place I came from. They talked to the league to make sure that it was done in such a way that it wouldn’t impact the local high schools.”
Stricklin officially started in his new role as Florida’s AD on Tuesday, though he was in Jacksonville on Saturday to watch the Gators defeat Georgia.
Florida football coach Jim McElwain then weighed in as well, expressing pretty clearly that he has no interest in playing on Friday night at any point.
“It’s interesting because it’s not only the Friday night (football), but school. We’ve actually got over 50,000 students here that all of a sudden that changes the dynamics of everything that you have to do at an institution, an educational institution,” McElwain said. “So there’s a lot of pieces that go into that. And here’s the one good thing as well. We’re the Southeastern Conference. I don’t think we need extra games on Fridays.”