(Let the SEC jokes commence in three… two… one…)
For the most part, spring games are rather mundane affairs, glorified scrimmages wrapped up in a pseudo game-day atmosphere to put a wrap on the spring.
While USF’s spring game may very well fall underneath that blanket definition, at least the football program is attempting to add some sizzle to the event — and the days leading up to it.
Ahead of the Bulls’ spring-ending session April 13 — their first under new head coach Willie Taggart — the format for the on-field game and other ancillary events surrounding it were announced. The game itself will be a relatively standard one: four 15-minute quarters, with normal clock stoppages in the first half and a running clock in the final two quarters.
The construction of the rosters will also, for the most part, be the standard fare, with the respective coaching staffs from the Green and White squads conducting a draft the Saturday before the spring game. USF’s very unique and kinda cool twist on the makeup of the rosters? Free agency.
Yes, that’s right. Free agency. From the school’s release:
The free agent period offers each staff the opportunity to lure one offensive and defensive player to ‘sign’ with its team. The staffs can use any method allowable by NCAA rules to try and secure a player’s signature, including incentives for the particular player. The free agent period started on Saturday, March 30 and will run until noon on Thursday, April 4. The four free agent signings will be announced via USF Football’s Twitter account @USFFootball.
It’s unclear how soon after the free agency period ends that the NCAA begins a botched investigation into the Bulls’ spring tactics.
That said, the stakes, so to speak, for whatever shapes the collective rosters ultimately take come game-time couldn’t be higher: the winning team will partake in a feast of steak and potatoes at some point before the end of the spring semester. The losers? Beans and wieners, likely served on paper plates — and not the good ones either, probably the styrofoam ones that begin to melt after about 30 seconds in a microwave — and eaten with plastic utensils that carry a breaking point of approximately .0042 PSI.
Kudos, though, to the USF football program and its new coach for injecting a little imagination into the mundane that normally typifies a spring game.