AUSTIN — The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is suspending a “Friday Night Lights broadcast rule” that prohibited the live video broadcast of UIL sanctioned football games this fall.
This temporary change is an effort from UIL to allow family and fans of high school football to see their teams in action for the upcoming season.
UIL officials stress that they still are committed to a full, regular season of high school football with crowd attendance, but they recognize the potential threat to the public posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and are taking precautions.
UIL has long been opposed to allowing live video broadcasts because they feel it changes the nature of the “Friday night lights” experience.
“I have always stood for protecting Friday night. It has been the passion of all of our schools to have community involvement on Friday night. It’s not just about a football game. Friday night’s a special time,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.
However, the pandemic is adjusting protocol for many organizations and UIL found it necessary to make this temporary change.
“I do believe this is a time for us to stand down on our Friday broadcast rule, not permanent, just for a one-time venture, because, we know this, there will be many people who stay away because they are fearful, particularly our elderly and our senior citizens. We want to give them a chance to see the game based on what the local district allows,” Breithaupt said.
Although this change will be in place for the entire football season, UIL officials are not interested in extending it passed the 2020-2021 football season.