Pittsburgh cancels spring game

Updated: February 28, 2014, 1:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pittsburgh has canceled its spring football game this year in favor of giving more practice time to a young roster.

The Panthers will have multiple intrasquad scrimmages in March and April, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but they won't be open to the public.

"The thought behind [the decision], honestly, is to get one more good workday out of them," coach Paul Chryst told the newspaper. "Most, if not every spring game I've been a part of, you really end up sacrificing a lot. It sounds crazy, but just being locked into a place, bad weather. ... You're kind of locked into that day. These days are really valuable for us."

Pitt, which will practice from March 16 to April 13, plans to announce fan outreach programs to make up for the game's absence.

"It's a little bit selfish doing what's best for the program," Chryst told the Post-Gazette. "You appreciate [the fans]. You don't want it to come off as not being appreciative. It's not the intent. But there is real conviction that for this group of guys, the guys in the building ... you feel really good that this is the right thing. You hope the people appreciate that."

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