PULLMAN - It wasn't your normal Thursday afternoon.
"It's really quiet," remarked Allie Ballard, a WSU Junior from Enumclaw
as she strolled through campus in her Candy Corn halloween outfit. "There is not a lot of people up here."
That's because Washington State University made the unusual move to cancel all afternoon classes due a a rare weeknight primetime football game.
"No regrets," said WSU President Elson Floyd as he sat in his office outside Martin Stadium. "It's not a big issue although it's captured some attention." Floyd brushed aside any criticism of the move, and
said the circumstances surrounding the game prompted the decision, after consulting with faculty and staff.
"We have shared parking lots. It's necessary for us to vacate parking lot occupied by faculity and staff to allow fans and boosters to get in here," said Floyd.
WSU says there are 8,400 parking spots on campus.
"Campus is pretty deserted," said Eric Reiman, a WSU Student from North Seattle, "Today it's just a ghost town."
He and his friend, Jason McClain, a WSU student from Bonney Lake, took an optional class in the morning. Floyd had made all classes before noon optional and at the discretion of individual faculty members. It will also be up to them to schedule a make up period. "I actually did a sociality assignment (about it) and why they cancelled it," said McClain, who admitted being torn about the decision. "I'm still on the fence on it from an administrative standpoint."
Floyd said the situation has prompted discussion among Pac-12 member institutions. "It's got the attention of a lot of people, not necessarily at WSU but across the Pac-12. Every three years every
institution has to host a (Weekday) conference game."
That's since the Pac-12 signed a lucrative television deal last year, which guarantees schools like WSU, and UW, at least $21 million a season. Both schools have used it to renovate their on campus
stadiums. But they also lost some control about when games will kickoff.
"We have to have these Thursday night games," says Floyd. "Now the timing of it varies from game to game and it's an issue with all Pac-12 schools." He continued "It's caused some stress for a great number of our institutions across the Pac-12."
When asked if he was happy with the television deal, Floyd said "I think all of us are happy with the revenue flow with the television media rights package we have. The challenge is the whole notion of late
night games, and when these games are scheduled."
WSU, including this week's game against Arizona State, will be the school's seventh night game of the season.
"I think all of the night games are placing an undue burden on the institution," says Floyd.
Classes will go on as scheduled Friday.
WSU last cancelled classes due to inclement weather back on Thursday,
January 19th, 2012.