Saturday, June 3, 2006
Oregon, Oregon State change Civil War day for TV
PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the first time since 1927, the Civil War football game between Oregon and Oregon State will be on a Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, instead of on a Saturday.
For the schools, it's a chance to make $250,000 each in TV money, and to play in front of a national audience.
"Not much is sacred anymore," said Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis. "At some point in time, if you want to have a broad-based program in Division I, you have to have the resources to pay for that, and this helps that."
Fox Sports Net announced its schedule Friday, including the 110th Civil War between the Beavers and Ducks. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. Nov. 24 in Corvallis.
De Carolis said viewers were more important than money, and he considered options such as a Dec. 2 date on "Championship Saturday," hoping ABC or ESPN might pick up the game, or a 7 p.m. kickoff on either the Friday or Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.
"The 12:30 p.m. start made more sense, because we could reach 90 to 98 percent of the country," De Carolis said. "We just thought that was an overriding factor.
"I'm not going to say the financial part didn't have anything to do with it, but that certainly wasn't the driving force. It was more about getting exposure on a national basis."
The University of Oregon has mixed feelings, said Dave Williford, the school's sports information director. The revenue is welcome, but the school wants to see how fans react before committing to a Friday game in 2007, when the rivalry game will be in Eugene.
"We have the luxury this year of not being the guinea pig," Williford said.