Iowa AD Gary Barta Talks Night Games

By Scott Dochterman, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Scott Dochterman talked to Iowa athletic director Gary Barta about night games at Kinnick Stadium and much more.

MISSING BIG

Iowa kicker Mike Meyer entered the game kicking 14-of-15 field goals and all 12 extra points. In the first half, Meyer missed both of his field-goal attempts.

With Iowa trailing 7-0, Meyer was wide left on a 49-yard attempt from the left hashmark. Early in the second quarter, Meyer was wide right on a 37-yard attempt again from the left hashmark.

NIGHT TIME MAGIC

Iowa has played host to at least one night game in six of the last seven seasons. It has become a tradition that Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta enjoys and appreciates.

Twice the Hawkeyes have played host to Penn State (2010, 2012). Since 2006, Iowa also have welcomed Ohio State (2006), Syracuse (2007), Michigan (2009) and Northwestern (2011).

The night games coincided with the BTN's debut in 2007.

"A few years back they were talking about at least one," Barta said. "I said, 'I know on our campus, let us go through a few years. I know that we can develop a comfort with at least one. ... It really does put a lot of stress on our staff because they're working, really, more than 24 hours. But all that being said, it's worked out wonderfully. Our fans have handled it well. It's fun.

"On our campus, one is fine. I don't know that we'll go to two. I'm confident it wouldn't go beyond that."

NOVEMBER NIGHT GAMES?

The Big Ten's television agreements do not allow for airing conference night games in November. Barta that policy has generated just minor discussion among administrators.

"It's not inevitable," Barta said. "It isn't like it's on our next meeting agenda. If you get into November — (last night) is fun because the weather is spectacular — but if it were 20 degrees and snowing, maybe we wouldn't feel as excited about a night game.

"The November game (agreement) is in place because of darkness and weather. We just have to temper our enthusiasm and remind ourselves that it can get pretty cold later in the year."

HOMECOMING AT NIGHT?

Like most schools, Iowa prefers to play its annual homecoming game in the early afternoon. That's the case in most seasons, like this year's Sept. 29 game against Minnesota. But in 2009, Iowa's homecoming game against Michigan was aired in primetime on ABC.

Iowa sets its homecoming schedule years in advance, but the game time is set in the spring in consultation of the league office, school and television networks.

"The challenge is we set our homecoming so we can do planning and alumni and reunions," Barta said. "The Big Ten comes to us with the television requests, and if that's the game that makes the most sense, we made it work.

"Would I prefer homecoming to be an afternoon game? Yes. But we made it work once, so we know that it can be done. It just wouldn't be our preference."
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