UIL’s no action on broadcasting rule overruled by Dr. Breithaupt. 2020 season to allow broadcasting Friday Night Lights
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) met Wednesday morning to discuss a variety of topics including proposals to changes in UIL athletics rules that would directly impact the quickly approaching football season.
One of the main subjects coaches, athletes, fans, parents, media, and more were keeping their eyes peeled for was a proposal to allow live broadcasting of competitions. According to Section 868(c) of the UIL rulebook, regular season football games are not allowed to be broadcasted on Friday nights. The rule reads, “UIL member schools shall not permit the live telecast of a regular season football game on a Friday night.”
The UIL took no action on the proposal to lift the Friday night broadcasting rule and a proposal to allow live streaming of football games on Friday.
You can watch the meeting here, the live-streaming ruling comes around the 45min mark:
“It’s always been such a delicate situation broadcasting on Fridays,” Dr. Greg Poole said during the meeting and requested further discussion on the decision to take no action.
Dr. Charles Breithaupt took the floor mentioning how special the 100th year of UIL high school football has the potential to be, “Our plan is to start on time with a full schedule and full stands. That’s our hope.”
“You know I have always stood for protecting Friday night,” Breithaupt said. “I do believe this is a time for us to stand down on our Friday night broadcasting rule [temporarily].” Breithaupt was given the authority to overrule the no-action decision to which he took full advantage of. “This will end following this football season,” Breithaupt said. Breithaupt wants to give people who are fearful of COVID-19 a chance to watch the events.
“These times call for flexibility, but I’m encouraged to hear this is not a long-term plan.” Dr. Poole said.
The lifting of the broadcast rule would be contingent on the 2020 season only. Both schools involved in the competition must agree to the broadcast. The UIL is interested in protecting the sanctity of Friday Night Lights, but recognizes that 2020 is a bit unprecedented and calls for adjustments.