Multiple schools forced to cancel traditional spring football games due to bad weather


A forecast of bad weather in the Midwest has led several college football programs to cancel their spring games.

Michigan is the latest school to announce such a move, saying Wednesday that it was scrapping the game “due to weather patterns that project a high percentage chance for rain and thunderstorms on Saturday.”

“We are disappointed for our fans and players’ families that this opportunity to see our team compete at Michigan Stadium will not be possible due to weather concerns,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said in a statement. “We made a decision that was in the best interest of our fans, student-athletes and volunteer staff needed to organize this event.”

Wisconsin‘s announcement came Tuesday afternoon.

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“The safety of our student-athletes and fans is our utmost priority,” Badgers Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “The weather forecast has been pretty consistent in calling for a good chance of rain and thunderstorms on Friday. We thought it was best to make the call early to give the numerous groups involved in the game, including our team, our fans, our media partners and staff, notice of the cancellation as soon as possible.”

Iowa State had acted a day earlier.

“We know this will be disappointing for our fans and players,” Athletic Director Jamie Pollard said Monday. “The football team will use Saturday as their final practice in a closed practice similar to this spring.”

Rather than canceling its spring game, Minnesota decided to move it back to Thursday night.

“The spring game is a reward for our players and fans, so cancelling it was not an option,” head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. “Moving the game from Saturday to Thursday enables us to keep it outside at TCF Bank Stadium so fans can watch our team. It will also provide a safe environment for everyone involved and will allow for our coaching staff to evaluate players in a game-like setting.”

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Ohio State still plans to hold its spring game Saturday afternoon, as does Indiana.

Some schools, including Purdue and Michigan State, held their spring games last weekend.

Others don’t play until later; for example, Iowa’s spring game is set for April 20.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
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