April 23, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State football concludes its 15 spring practices under sixth-year head coach Mark Dantonio with the Green-White intrasquad game on Saturday, April 28 at 1:06 p.m. EDT in Spartan Stadium. Parking is free (in Lots 79, 56, 39/40, 41; Ramps 2 and 5; Lot 62E has been reserved for disabled parking), and the stadium gates (Gates B, C, D and G) open at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free.
For the fifth year in a row, fans have the opportunity to purchase press box seats for the spring game and enjoy the same view as the media that cover Spartan football. Only 100 press box seats - priced at $50 each - are on sale for the spring game. (Note: Minimum age requirement is 12 for press box admission.) Proceeds from the sale of press box seats will benefit the George Webster Scholarship Fund. Fans may order press box seats online at msuspartans.com. The deadline to order press box seats is 12 p.m. Friday, April 27. Click here to order your press box seats online.
Michigan State's spring game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network and streamed live on BTN2Go.com, with Eric Collins and Derek Rackley calling the action and Lisa Byington reporting from the sideline. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET.
The Spartan Radio Network, featuring veteran play-by-play announcer George Blaha, color analyst Jason Strayhorn and sideline reporter Will Tieman, will broadcast the Green-White spring game to seven affiliates in the state: WJIM (AM 1240) in Lansing, WBBL (FM 107.3) in Grand Rapids, WBCK (AM 930) in Battle Creek, WGHN (FM 92.1) in Grand Haven, WBCH (AM 1220) in Hastings, WKZO (AM 590) in Kalamazoo and WLDR (FM 101.9) in Traverse City. The spring game also can be heard live on satellite radio: Sirius (Channel 91) and XM (Channel 91).
In addition, msuspartans.com will provide game-day audio, live in-game statistics (GameTracker), game highlights and post-game interviews. For live in-game updates, fans also can follow @MSU_Football on Twitter.
Prior to the spring game, MSU's coaching staff and players will conduct a free youth football clinic (no registration required). Children, ages 8-12, are invited to attend the youth clinic from 10-11:30 a.m. on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, located at the corner of Chestnut Road and Shaw Lane. Clinic participants and their parents are requested to enter the practice fields through the gate on Shaw Lane. Over the last nine years, more than 4,500 children have participated in the annual youth football clinic.
The purpose of the clinic is to introduce youngsters to the game by stressing fundamentals. No football gear is required. In addition, clinic participants will receive a coupon for a complimentary hot dog and soft drink to be redeemed at a concession stand in Spartan Stadium during the spring game.
With kickoff moved up 30 minutes to 1:06 p.m. to accommodate live television, there is insufficient time to accommodate a post-clinic autograph session (767 youth clinic participants last April) as has been done in previous years.
Additional spring game notes:
Michigan State's spring football games have attracted crowds in excess of 20,000 each of the last five years, with estimated attendance totals of 25,000 in 2007, 27,000 in 2008, 26,000 in 2009, 30,000 in 2010 and 35,000 in 2011. Those spring game attendance figures have ranked among the nation's Top 20 each of the last five years: No. 11 (tied with Florida State) in 2007, No. 17 in 2008, No. 19 in 2009, No. 15 (tied with Arkansas) in 2010 and No. 13 in 2011.
Fans are reminded no bags or purses are allowed inside Spartan Stadium. This includes but not limited to: no backpacks, purses of any size, camera cases, binocular cases, wallets not stored in pockets, bags, diaper bags, seat cushions with pockets that are used for storage. If any of these bags are attached to a person's waist or wrist, they still are not allowed in the stadium.
Gates C and D are only for those individuals with true medical needs. Individuals entering those gates may bring the medical items in any bag. Those bags will be searched and tagged by an MSU Police Officer. The officer working that gate has the final determination if that item is a true medical need.
Fans should note the northwest and northeast gates (J and K) are closed due to construction of the new scoreboards in the north end zone.
The Spartan Bookstore will conduct its annual clearance sale in the Sideline Shop, located inside the south end of the stadium. Apparel and merchandise will be discounted from 50-to-90 percent off the retail price. The Sideline Shop will open at 10:30 a.m.
Fans are reminded that the "open container" ordinance will be enforced on campus and in parking lots for the spring football game.
BTN2Go is a live 24/7 digital extension of the Big Ten Network that gives fans the ability to watch the network live wherever they are via computer, smartphone or tablet. Full online access to BTN2Go is available to subscribers of participating TV providers at no additional charge. As of March 23, Bright House Networks, Charter, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS offer BTN2Go to their subscribers. For more information, go to BTN2Go.com.
BTN also will have highlights and analysis from Michigan State's spring game on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET on the "B1G Tonight Spring Football Edition" with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.
George Webster Scholarship Fund
The George Webster Scholarship Fund, created in February 2007 through the generosity of Jim Nelson (1960 MSU graduate from Ada, Mich.), provides opportunities for former student-athletes to return to Michigan State each year and complete their degrees. The 2011-12 scholarship recipients are Kyle Day (baseball, 2006-08), Jay Greene (football, 1993-94), David Herron (football, 2003-06) and Ray Weathers (basketball, 1995-97).
Born Nov. 25, 1945, in Anderson, S.C., Webster earned three letters for the Spartans from 1964-66, while playing for legendary head football coach Duffy Daugherty. The two-time consensus All-American and two-time all-conference selection helped Michigan State to a combined record of 19-1-1 in 1965-66 as the Spartans won back-to-back Big Ten Conference and National Championships. At 6-foot-4, 218 pounds, he revolutionized the roverback position with his size and speed. As a senior, Webster recorded 93 tackles, including 10 for losses, as Michigan State ranked third nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 51.4 yards per game. In 1967, he became just the second former Spartan to have his jersey number (No. 90) retired. Webster was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He has been rated among the 100 Greatest Players of All-Time by CollegeFootballNews.com.
A first-round selection (No. 5 overall) by the Houston Oilers in 1967, Webster spent 10 years in the National Football League (Houston, 1967-72; Pittsburgh, 1972-73; and New England, 1974-76). He was selected the American Football League's Rookie of the Year by United Press International after averaging more than 10 tackles per game in 1967. Webster played in three AFL All-Star Games, earning Defensive MVP honors in 1969. In 1970, he was named to the AFL's All-Time Team (first team) by a special panel of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters.
Webster died of heart failure on April 19, 2007, at the age of 61.