Continued from page 1

NCAA rules allow football programs to have 15 spring practices _ including a spring game and up to two additional scrimmages _ and eight of the 12 sessions can include tackling.

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe, who is on the AFCA board of trustees, and Duke’s David Cutcliffe both said their peers have been talking about wanting to be able to scrimmage or practice against other schools for at least a few decades.

Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis said football coach Mark Dantonio discussed it a couple years ago at a Big Ten coaches meeting. Hollis said the Big Ten and Mid-American Conference could perhaps form a partnership to cut down costs if scrimmages or practices against other schools were permitted.

“That’s an old idea, that’s a good idea, but that’s very difficult to get the NCAA to move in those regards,” Cutcliffe said. “Your best chance is if you can prove you can make some money because then you have a chance for the presidents and the ADs to vote in favor of it.”

Cost containment, Murphy said, would be a big factor is drafting a proposal to potentially make it happen.

Many schools let the public watch their spring game, or final practice, for free while others can get away with charging a small fee.

Nebraska charges $10 and can still draw a big crowd as it did a year ago with nearly 67,000 in the stands. Auburn had an announced crowd of 52,309 last year with fans paying $5 each. Oklahoma sells tickets $5 in advance and $10 at the door and usually draws more than 20,000 fans.

Alabama, which doesn’t charge admission to its spring game, has drawn 92,000-plus fans to watch.

Michigan lets fans watch the team’s spring finale for free, asking for charitable donation in recent years, and athletic director Dave Brandon would be OK with charging $5 or $10 to cover travel costs for the visiting schools if the NCAA changed its rules.

“We’d like to think we could fill the Big House,” Brandon said. “But I wouldn’t want it to get so big with expensive ticket prices to turn it into another game.”

If Hoke had his way, an NCAA rule would allow him to invite another program to town for practice _ without fans or reporters _ for situational drills that both coaches want to use with tackling on perhaps one of the two days.

“I think it would be a great idea,” Hoke said.

English would up for taking his Eagles on a 15-minute bus trip in the spring to share a field with the Wolverines.

“Spring ball gets long for coaches and players, so this rule change would add a little spice and a sense of urgency to get things done,” English said.

North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams would be in favor of facing another other school _ rather than his teammates _ in a new-look spring game.

Story Continues →