KU football will have open practice instead of traditional spring game

photo by: Nick Krug

Kansas safety Mike Lee signs autographs following the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

Don’t show up at the newly christened David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on April 28 expecting to see a football game.

KU football still plans on rolling out all its typical fan-focused spring game activities on the last Saturday of the month, but what happens on the turf that afternoon will only qualify as a practice.

The closest fans will get to seeing head-to-head play in what is being dubbed the program’s “spring football showcase” will come during certain team periods of the open practice, which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

According to a KU spokesperson, injuries at certain positions, such as the offensive line, have left the Jayhawks shorthanded this spring. The coaching staff reportedly deemed the roster too depleted to go through with a full-blown scrimmage, opting instead for a practice, as a precautionary measure.

In 2017, KU had a traditional spring game, complete with a player draft in the days leading up to the event. In 2016, the program played a scrimmage without using a traditional scoring format. In 2015, head coach David Beaty’s first in charge, the Jayhawks played a typical spring game, though it was marred by a knee injury to quarterback Michael Cummings.

This year’s featured spring practice will be viewable via broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network, in the state of Kansas and the Kansas City metro area, and nationally on ESPN3. Audio coverage will be available via the Jayhawk Radio Network.

Prior to the team’s final spring practice, KU football will have its annual alumni flag football game, scheduled to begin at noon.

Stadium gates will open at 11 a.m. Seating will be limited to the west side of the venue, and fans will be allowed to enter the stadium at gates 1, 3, 4, 8, 32 and 33, as well as at the west ramps and suite elevators. A clear bag policy will be in effect for all spectators.

Below is a rundown of other “spring football showcase” activities.

• A Bike Rodeo will feature a course and free bike inspections, courtesy of Douglas County Fire and Medical. Children aged 15 and younger will be custom-fitted with a free bicycle helmet (while supplies last) as they learn about rules of the road, trail etiquette and safety. It begins at 10 a.m., in lots 92 and 94, east of the stadium.

• More family-friendly activities, such as photo opportunities, poster-making, stickers and face tattoos, will be available before the game in the Hawk Zone, which will open at 11 a.m., on KU’s practice fields, located adjacent the stadium on the southeast side.

• The Train Like A Jayhawk clinic, featuring instructional stations led by KU players will begin after the practice, on the stadium turf. It is for kids in grades 1-6. Participating children will receive a Train Like A Jayhawk T-shirt. Check-in for the clinic will begin at 11 a.m., at the Hawk Zone until practice begins; then check-in will take place in the south concourse area of the stadium. Online registration for the clinic, as well as more information on the various activities surrounding the 2018 “spring football showcase” can be found at KUAthletics.com.