MLB playoffs push Michigan game to Friday

Updated: September 24, 2003, 5:57 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota football team will play Michigan a day earlier than first scheduled because of conflicts with the Minnesota Twins over the use of the Metrodome.

The game -- originally scheduled to be played Saturday Oct. 11 at the Metrodome -- has been moved to Oct. 10 because of a potential conflict with the American League Championship Series, the Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday.

The Big Ten Administrators Council unanimously approved the change. The council also conditionally approved rescheduling the Oct. 18 Michigan State game to Oct. 17. The game will be moved only if the Twins advance to the ALCS.

The World Series is scheduled to begin at the home of the AL champion on Oct. 18.

"The Conference and the Administrators Council regret having to reschedule football games to a Friday night," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "The Big Ten continues to support the protection of Friday night as a traditional high school football playing date.

"We also understand the negative effect that this change will have on our teams, their travel parties and fans. This result was considered to be the most feasible of several unattractive alternatives."

The University of Minnesota will be financially responsible for all additional travel, hotel, administrative and other direct costs incurred by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University due to the rescheduling.

Athletics director Joel Maturi stressed the the importance of playing at home rather than on neutral ground.

"At the same time, we are very sensitive to playing on Friday night and the impact that will have on high school football."

Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said in a statement the school is sympathetic to Minnesota's situation and supports the decision to move the game.

But he said Michigan is "opposed to playing Big Ten football on any other day than Saturday."

"We will work to ensure that the Big Ten Conference remains a Saturday-only conference," he said.

Michigan State information director John Lewandowski said he was glad Minnesota was able to create a contingency plan.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press