How many more years will fans be able to enjoy spring football games?

NCAA Football: Tennessee-Spring Game

For years, spring football has given fans the ability to get their football fix, and, ultimately, given them another excuse to visit campus and purchase their children some apparel. But the sentiment among some coaches around the country is that they are prepared to do away with spring games.

RELATED: 2013 SEC spring football game attendance 

Texas A&M won’t have a spring game on account of the Kyle Field renovation, and even discounting the construction, Kevin Sumlin says spring games are ‘worthless’ anyway, according to SI.com.

“For us, from a recruiting and national perception, like last year with the presentation and 50,000, that’s what you miss,” Sumlin said. “From a coaching standpoint, we probably gain more from not splitting up the team. It used to be different, when you have 100-something guys and you could split a team up. We have a hard time keeping quality by splitting up. That’s why we go offense and defense. I know fans get tired of that, but it’s worthless to us when you have guys playing with starters and guys that are never going to play just to make two different teams. We’ll probably get more out of it, from a practice standpoint.”

Oklahoma State and Pitt voluntarily said they weren’t having a spring game this year. As John Infante from AthleticScholarships.net points out, it’s a trend that will ultimately be a ‘terminal’ one for the annual spring game. Infante explains why.

The spring game is counted as one of the 15 practice sessions that make up spring practice. In addition to the overall limit of 15, no more than 12 sessions can include contact. Of the 12 contact sessions, only eight can including tackling. And of the eight tackling sessions, only three can devote more than 50% of the time to 11-on–11 scrimmaging. Spring games obviously count as one of those three scrimmages.

The limited contact during spring practice is obviously being driven by concussion lawsuits. The NCAA has even discussed limiting the amount of full-contact practices during the season.

RELATED: 2014 SEC spring game schedule

Most of the spring games are televised, with ESPN running the show. Infante says the only way to resurrect the spring game would be to hold a scrimmage against another team. But with the NCAA watching their backs regarding player safety, that’s doubtful to ever happen.

Would you miss spring games?

Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please sign in or register

  • Keep. The. Spring. Game.

    Some fans who attend spring games view them as an inexpensive way to bring the family to a game, even if it’s simulated. You don’t have to worry about the nuances that encompass ‘gameday’ in the fall and families can still have fun.

  • Having a scrimmage would be awesome. It’d be more exciting and fun and it would give the pre-season poles a lot more meaning with being able to more accurately access a team. Not that it will ever happen, but I like the idea.

  • Totally agree with dumping the spring game. Off season fitness is a must, but games are not needed. This is a great time of year to rehearse mechanics and techniques, tactics, new play book, etc.. Hit the ground running in August.

  • I enjoy the spring game and attend Alabama’s A Day game as often as I can. One factor overlooked in all this discussion is COST. The spring game is usually free, or just a few bucks. Compare that to ticket prices in the fall and you can see why the A Day game is very popular with the local citizenry of Tuscaloosa. It is probably the ONLY time that the less affluent fans ever will have a chance to see their team in action.
    Keep the spring game.

    • Agreed. And teams don’t usually go all out 100% anyway. I would say a whole spring game is played at maybe 75%. They aren’t out there absolutely trying to kill each other. But it still gets competitive.

  • If number of practices is an issue just don’t count a Spring game as a “practice”. Besides if ONE practice makes that much difference in April than that team has bigger problems. I agree it is a time when the campus is open and everyone can come regardless of price usually. It allows younger kids a chance to see inside the stadium and see the team up close. Cost is a significant factor during the regular season and a Spring game mitigates that somewhat. Now if we could just get UGA to quit scheduling the G Day game on Masters weekend we might get somewhere….

  • I think this country is turning into a bunch of pansies. Everyone is worried about getting hurt and that is hurting the game. Before long they are going to say that the players can only do two and touch because of lawsuits. If players are scared they might get hurt, then they are playing the wrong sport. It seems like everything in this country has to be politically correct and that is ruining football. How are players suppose to get better at tackling if they can’t practice.