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Maryland To Cancel Classes Before Friday Night Game Against Penn State

Want another reason to hate Fright night games? Now, they’re interfering with students’ education. How dare they?!

All joking aside, Friday night games suck. And they propose logistical nightmares, regardless if they’re played in the middle of nowhere or in the heart of metro areas.

Last year, we looked into what it’d take for Penn State to host Friday Night Lights, and it didn’t look pretty. The thought of 100,000 Penn Staters driving on I-80 and 322 on a Friday afternoon was horrifying. But the University of Maryland is trying its hand at finding a needle in a haystack solution.

Maryland announced Monday that it was canceling all classes after noon on September 27 when the Terrapins host Penn State for another edition of Friday night football. In addition to all non-lab classes being canceled, all non-essential employees will be on administrative leave for the afternoon.

An email from the university explained that this was all part of a plan to reduce traffic before the game by, in effect, clearing the campus. Maryland officials say they expect a whole 50,000 people to turn out for the game, which would likely mark the Terps’ highest home game attendance in a decade.

For what it’s worth, Maryland’s all-time attendance record was set when 58,973 fans filed in to see Penn State win a 15-13 nail-biter in 1975. That mark remains far and away #PSUnrivaled.

The game will kick off at 8 p.m. in order to minimize the strain it places on normal traffic — no word yet on whether the players are scheduled to shake hands before the coin toss at that time.

Although classes end at noon, tailgating won’t be allowed to begin until 3 p.m. when the parking lots open, according to a website devoted solely to the game. Fans will be allowed to enter Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium beginning at 6:30 p.m.

No information is available yet about recommended routes or ride-sharing logistics, but the website said that will come in September. You can also ride the shuttle service from the College Park metro station to campus, which will run as normally scheduled from 6 a.m. to 1:50 a.m. that day. Additional shuttle service will also be provided, with the last scheduled metro train departing College Park Station toward Branch Ave at 12:30 a.m. 

To help professors accommodate the change in schedule, Maryland referred them to the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center “for assistance with options to keep student learning on schedule.”

As a word of advice for Maryland faculty from one Big Ten state school to another: Cut your losses and spare yourselves the disappointment. Canceling afternoon classes might as well make it a three-day weekend, so good luck making sure anything gets done and keeping “student learning on schedule.”

By the way, how hyped is Maryland for this game? The game’s official website isn’t just for parking information. It also has a countdown clock…for the Big Ten opener…which will be played on a Friday.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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