UNC’s Brown: Friday nights are for high school, not ACC football


(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The ACC began scheduling football games on Friday nights a few seasons ago – something that hasn’t sat well with many coaches across the conference.

On Wednesday, North Carolina head coach Mack Brown made it known that he doesn’t want to see the Tar Heels play on Fridays.

“We do not like playing on Friday nights because Friday night is for high school football, and we’ve always believed that,” Brown said.

UNC is scheduled to play two Friday games in 2020 – their opener on Sept. 4 against UCF and their season finale against rival N.C. State on Nov. 27.

In a statement to the Associated Press in November, the ACC said its goal is to schedule a limited number of Friday night games early in the season “and in markets where sensitivities to high school football are different than in other areas of our footprint.”

Brown’s comments come as the conference officially released its 2020 schedule on Wednesday.

The ACC has eight Friday night games scheduled in 2020 – including a matchup of Appalachain State at Wake Forest on Sept. 11.

“As most know by now, the schedule is out of our control. Our TV partners dictate these types of things, so we’ll do what we’re told, but we would rather Friday night be sacred for high schools,” Brown said.

The second-year coach in Chapel Hill said UNC has requested their game against N.C. State have an afternoon kickoff to avoid going head-to-head with the high school games.

“Hopefully, that is something they will accommodate, because it’s important, especially on a weekend where there will be playoff games taking place,” Brown said.

Last season, Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson told the AP he doesn’t want games scheduled on Fridays.

“If you ask every coach in our league — do they want to play on Friday nights? — I don’t think one of them would say yes. That’s always been the night for high schools, but this is the era that we’re in,” Clawson said.

The Deacons played three times on Friday in 2019. They are slated to play two Friday night games in 2020.

“It’s a negative for recruiting,” said Clawson.

In speaking of the Deacons two 2019 Friday games, Clawson said “We had a packed stadium and we would have loved to have high school football players see those games against good teams in a great environment.”

The 2020 ACC football season kicks off Thursday, Sept 3. with Clemson taking on Georgia Tech in Atlanta and N.C. State traveling to Louisville to play the Cardinals.

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