CU, MSL cancel Gridiron Bash
NCAA deems concert a rules violation
Colorado athletic department officials and MSL Sports and Entertainment will announce today the cancellation of the Gridiron Bash in Folsom Field on April 18 featuring a Counting Crows concert.
The concert was one of more than a dozen set to take place on campuses across the nation this spring in conjunction with the end of spring football practices at various schools. It also included a contest -- the brainchild of MSL Sports and Entertainment -- which would have awarded more than $1 million in scholarship money to institutions that drew the most fans.
The concerts were supposed to be preceded by pep rallies involving football teams and coaches of the participating schools, but the NCAA informed those schools that providing student-athletes access to a concert constitutes an extra benefit and would violate the organization's rules.
"We recognize numerous challenges with the event based on NCAA interpreta-tions of student-athlete involvement," Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said Sunday.
Bohn said he would wait to make further comments until today, but he said it's possible problems could be worked out allowing the event to take place at some point in the future. The CU ticket office had sold more than 3,000 tickets to the concert. Information on how to obtain refunds will be announced today.
It is unclear why organizers are choosing to cancel the concerts completely instead of simply not including student-athletes in the events in order to comply with NCAA rules. It is also unclear why the schools involved and MSL didn't receive approval of the event from the NCAA prior to scheduling it.
The Gridiron Bash was one facet of CU plans to boost attendance at this year's spring game April 19. Former coach Bill McCartney and current coach Dan Hawkins challenged CU fans to fill Folsom Field for the game for what McCartney called "some Folsom Field fever." The stadium holds 53,750 fans for football games, but CU has rarely attracted more than a few thousand for spring games.
CU recently started the Coach Mac Challenge on its Web site at CUBuffs.com. Anyone who fills out a form pledging to attend the game is entered into a drawing for four club level tickets to the Big 12 Conference opener next season against Texas.
The football team returns to practices Tuesday after taking more than a week off for spring break. The Buffs have gone through three practices in helmets, shorts and jerseys and have the first padded practice and scrimmage set for this week.