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6/14/2008 1:04 PM
Re: North/South Ohio Classic  (United States)
All-star showcase might team with OSU spring game
Saturday,  June 14, 2008 2:58 AM
The Ohio North-South all-star football game takes center stage in Ohio Stadium today. There's a chance it could share the stage with the Ohio State Buckeyes as soon as next year.

The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association is considering a proposal to make the game part of the Ohio State spring game weekend in April.

"There is a lot of talk going on, and talks with Ohio State," said Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger, the all-star game director. "They are trying to work out the logistics of it."

One challenge would be providing clear separation between the all-star game and the Buckeyes' spring game. NCAA rules demand it, which likely would mean separate tickets for each game, a clearing of the stadium between games, and Ohio State would not be allowed to promote the all-star game.

Nevertheless, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel is a proponent, primarily because of the attraction for the players and the fans of another game in the Horseshoe.

"It would be a great chance for the fans to see excellent talent at the 'Shoe," Tressel said. "It would get them excited for the fall. And the players would get a taste of the new speed they will be facing in the game of football."

But moving the all-star game to April is not ideal for two reasons. Many players who will take part today also participate in spring sports. Plus, the players would have to gather for practice on weekends before the game or miss several days of school.

In considering the move, the coaches association is trying to adjust to the times, Terwilliger said. The rosters today have no Ohio State-bound players, which is believed to be a first. Four future Buckeyes are playing for Ohio against Pennsylvania in the Big 33 game tonight in Hershey, Pa. Until 2006, the games usually were separated by a month, and many players took part in both.

"All-star games as we have known them in the past have obviously changed, and that's for multiple reasons," Terwilliger said. "No. 1 is because the NCAA allows colleges to pay for their incoming freshmen to go to summer school, which usually starts the third week of June."

If the game were played in April, it would not conflict with any state tournament for spring sports, Terwilliger said. "The other thing is, a kid doesn't have to play in the all-star game."

It's no slam dunk that the date will be changed. Neither of today's coaches -- Groveport's Tim Brown of the South and Sherwood Fairview's Bob Olwin of the North -- appears to be an advocate.

"I don't see how you can do it," Olwin said, citing the conflict with spring sports.

Or as Brown put it, "I think that would be a huge distraction and counterproductive to education. Personally, I just think the colleges need to realize they need to let these kids play these games. … I mean, they can redshirt 'em, they can keep 'em for five years. Let us have them while they're in high school."


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