KSHSAA tweets opposition to Yormark’s idea for weeknight Big 12 games

Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 1:29 PM CDT
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ARLINGTON, Texas. (KCTV) - In the first year of Brett Yormark’s tenure as Big 12 Commissioner, various ideas have been discussed for the ever-changing brand and identity of the league.

On Wednesday, Yormark said the league was exploring playing football games on Thursday and Friday nights.

“We collaborate with our ADs. We don’t do anything without the input and signing off of our ADs and board,” Yormark said during the conference media day, held at Cowboys Stadium. “I’ll tell you, it’s very hot in the summer months, especially in the fall, so playing on Friday nights versus Saturday mornings does have its benefits. When you think about the tonnage of college football on the air Saturday, it provides a lot of opportunities for us to kind of build our profile on Friday night. But a lot goes into that decision.”

Part of that decision has to factor in the feasibility of getting high school recruits onto campus for games, and having freedom for coaches to visit high school games for recruiting.

“It’s not all about visibility,” Yormark added. “It’s about fans and what’s right for schools and campuses. All of that is part of the consideration and how we move forward.”

One early opponent to the idea of weeknight games was KSHSAA. The state athletic association tweeted a thumbs-down emoji to a quote from Yormark about exploring games during that television window.

On Thursday, Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman said the Wildcats will fall in line if the conference determines that is its best course of action.

“If Brett says that’s the best thing to do then we’re going to do it,” Klieman said, “because he’s our leader and there’s a reason we’re doing it that way. We have one on Friday night this year at Oklahoma State which, yeah, I’m going to be excited about.”

Kansas opens its season with back-to-back Friday night games in 2023. The Jayhawks will host Missouri State for the first game of the season Sept. 1, and then host Illinois a week later on Sept. 8.

Yormark also addressed the league’s basketball product. After attending the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City in March, Yormark said he’s been in talks with local officials to extend an agreement to keep the tournament in the City of Fountains past 2027.