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Shorter HS Football Season Considered

DES MOINES, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- State High School Athletic leaders are considering shortening the current 9-game High School Football season to 8.  The change was recommended by the Football Advisory Committee last month, who sent the proposal to the Board of Control.  Members decided to put off a decision until next week.  CBS 2 News contacted Assistant Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Todd Tharp.
   Tharp says there are a number of reasons why supporters want this change.  He cited the short turnaround between the regular season and the playoffs which can cause some teams to play four games in 14 days.  Tharp also pointed out the added strain the tight schedule puts on the player's time in the classroom.
   As for the possibility of a longer playoff season, Tharp says that comes with problems too, including cutting into Basketball season, potential playoffs at the UNI Dome for Northern Iowa and inching too close to the Thanksgiving holiday.
   A concern about any such change would be the lost revenue from fewer ticket sales.  The current 9-game season allowed each school to alternate between four and five home games each year.  An 8-game season would mean each school would have one fewer home game every two years, cutting into funds for their athletic departments.
   Tharp says a decision on the proposal must come next week, because leaders are preparing to set redistricting and schedules for the upcoming 2014 season.
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