Basically, you can't.
The Big Ten Network, created in 2007 to give more profile to the conference's then 11 schools, is always in need of programming. It is the standard-bearer for money-making in college athletics and has led to the creation of the Pac-12 and SEC Networks. In the spring, to fill the programming void, it fills Saturdays with spring football coverage.
Now, I agree that spring football is fun, but it is ultimately a pointless, glorified scrimmage. Teams run gimmick plays and if one side of the ball dominates it raises questions about the other side. Since it is a big deal and a big day of recruiting there are advantages to having a conference-specific network to cover it.
Unfortunately, Purdue is not going to get the same coverage of its 1pm game Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium that many other schools will get. Here is your full Saturday schedule on BTN:
1pm: Big Ten ICONS: Archie Griffin
1:3pm: Ohio State Spring Game
3:30pm: B1G Spring Football Report - Pretty much a recap of the game you just watched for OSU.
4pm: Penn State Spring Game
6pm: Illinois Spring Game
8pm: B1G Spring Football Report - Breaking down Penn State and Illinois
9pm: Ohio State Spring Game (A replay)
11pm: B1G Spring Football Report
Last weekend Northwestern, Nebraska, and Michigan got a similar treatment. Now, I realize that going against the defending National Champion in Ohio State is a no-brainer for which game the network is going to show live. I don't fault BTN for showing the defending champs over a team that has fewer wins against B1G competition the last two seasons than Northern Illinois. Still, when is BTN even showing a tape delay of our game?
The answer: Not. At. All.
That's right. The Big Ten Network is treating you to multiple viewings of the Illinois spring game, the same with Rutgers, Northwestern, etc., but there will not be a single viewing of the Purdue spring game even on tape delay. Sure, we might get a few token highlights on the B1G Spring Football Report, but only after we hear for the ∞th time how burdened Ohio State is for having to choose between three excellent quarterbacks.
So, if you want to see spring football for Purdue and find out if the offense really is improving by leaps and bounds in year three, you're going to have to show up at Ross-Ade on Saturday. Here is your full schedule of events:
The Challenge 5K Run/Walk
The Challenge, the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research 5K run/walk, will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Ross-Ade. People interested in participating may still do so by registering online. There also is on-site registration and package pickup April 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. and April 18 from 7 to 8:15 a.m. All proceeds go to help cure cancer. Head coach Darrell Hazell, whose father died from prostate cancer, again is serving as spokesman for the event and will bang the "All-American" Marching Band's Big Bass Drum to send off the participants.
Parking, Concessions and Restrooms
Free parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in the A Lot, F Lot, G Lot, H Lot (upper and lower), R Lot and Z Lot. Concession stands will be open on the north concourse and behind the south end zone. The South End Zone Patio will be open with beer and wine available for purchase. Signage will direct fans to available restroom facilities.
Season Ticket Sales and Specials
The Athletic Ticket Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for fans who want to renew or purchase season tickets. In addition, fans can purchase Touchdown zone tickets for Indiana State or Bowling Green for $15 and Virginia Tech for $20. These ticket specials will be available at the ticket office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and online all day.
Fans that renew by April 18 will receive two free end zone tickets to the home opener against Indiana State.
Returning members of the "Den of Defensive Ends" will be available in the South End Zone Patio from noon to 12:45 p.m. to sign autographs.
JPC Spring Football Café
The Ross-Ade Café will be open to John Purdue Club members from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Shively Club of Ross-Ade Pavilion. For just $10 (payment due when you sign up), fans can choose a hamburger or Italian sausage and chips. A drink is included with the purchase. In addition, you will receive a complimentary ticket to watch the spring game from the Shively Club seats. Please RSVP by April 11 to the John Purdue Club at 800-213-2239 or 494-3248 orjohnpurdueclub.com/springcafe . Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Family Fun Fest
The hugely popular Family Fun Fest runs from 11 a.m. to noon in Ross-Ade. Gate A, located at the southeast corner of the stadium, will open at 10:30 a.m. for registration. Family Fun Fest is open to all youth in eighth grade and under with adult supervision. In the event of inclement weather, Family Fun Fest will be canceled. Youngsters will be able to participate in the following interactive stations run by current members of the football team:
- Catching a pass from the quarterbacks
- Kicking a field goal with the kickers
- Accuracy throws with the wide receivers
- Dummy tackling with the defensive backs and linebackers
• Obstacle course with the offensive and defensive linemen
The Game Itself
The game will consist of four quarters, with the possibility of a running clock in the second half based on the number of plays run. The game will be played rain or shine, although lightning would result in a delay or cancellation. If the game cannot be played in Ross-Ade, it will not be moved inside. The two teams will be selected - draft style - April 15. Team rosters will be available at the concession stands.
The 2015 Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame class will be recognized and a skills competition among Ross-Ade Brigade members will take place at halftime. Halftime will last 20 minutes.
There will be an autograph session on the field following the game for 15 minutes