Spring football game staying on-campus
After years of clamoring from a hearty segment of USF's fan base, the Bulls finally are going to play football on-campus.
At least the intrasquad variety.
The school confirmed Friday afternoon the March 29 Green and White game is moving from Raymond James Stadium to Corbett Stadium, home of USF's soccer teams. The stadium has bleacher seating for about 1,000, with festival-style seating on berms surrounding the field.
Admission and parking for the 4 p.m. game are free.
"The spring provides a unique opportunity to do different things and showcase our football program in different areas," new athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement released by the school.
"(Coach) Willie (Taggart) and I talked, and we thought it would be fun to play the spring game on campus. We have a beautiful soccer venue in Corbett Stadium and our fans and students will enjoy seeing our team in that setting.
"In the fall, when the games count, the Bulls will run out of the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium, our proud home."
In the same news release, Taggart said he thought the move was a great idea. "We had a really good experience when we went down to Bradenton (for a spring practice at Manatee High) a couple of weeks ago and it makes sense to play this game on our campus," he said.
The decision is certain to re-fuel dialogue about a permanent on-campus stadium for the Bulls. When formally introduced as AD 10 days ago, Harlan said he's open to listening to both sides of the debate.
"I want to be open to understanding the passions for that, because I get it and I know the value of an on-campus stadium," he said. "But it's got to be right and it's got to make a lot of sense. We have to be able to fund it."
A myriad of festivities will surround the game, including an alumni flag football contest at halftime featuring -- among other ex-Bulls -- Seattle Seahawks QB B.J. Daniels.
Daniels also confirmed he'll hold a free on-campus football camp for kids in grades 1-8 the same day. The camp, set to run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Morsani Complex practice fields, will feature former Bulls Kayvon Webster, Sam Barrington and Terrell McClain.
Other festivities that day: a USF student tailgate with games, free food and T-shirts for the first 500 students (with a valid USF student ID), a Kids Zone with a bounce house, airbrushed tattoos and a postgame autograph session.