Spring game moved

Friday, April 11, 2008

With the anticipation of crummy weather on Saturday, Kansas University moved its annual spring football game to Monday.

The move was made official Thursday afternoon. Kansas will have its celebrated intrasquad scrimmage at 7 p.m. Monday at Memorial Stadium. Admission remains free, and gates will open at 6 p.m.

6News Chief Meterologist Jennifer Schack said the Saturday forecast calls for a high of 43 degrees with wind chills in the 30s. Rain is a possibility, but nothing steady is anticipated.

The weather is expected to improve significantly by Monday with highs in the 60s.

With the possibility of fans coming from far away to watch the scrimmage, KU officials decided to move the game sooner rather than later.

"We're expecting the weather to be so bad that we didn't want to wait until (tonight) or Saturday morning to make a decision, because people will be traveling in for the game," associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said. "We decided if we're going to pull the plug, we better do it now."

The spring game, usually a weekend event at most schools, will be a weeknight event at KU. The Jayhawks have played spring football under the lights before - their 2006 spring game was played on a Friday night in front of 5,200 fans.

Last year's spring game had 8,000 fans, though it remains to be seen if Kansas can surpass that number this season. A team coming off an Orange Bowl victory certainly helps, but moving it to a weeknight game probably won't.

"There is a chance there will be fewer people," Marchiony said, "but there might have been fewer people anyway on Saturday because of the lousy weather."

Among the activities surrounding Monday's spring game, KU coach Mark Mangino will presented with a national coach of the year trophy at halftime by The Sporting News. A Family Fun Zone will be open on the west side of the stadium - where fans are asked to enter and sit for the game - from 4 to 7 p.m.