The ripple effects of what appeared to be a rather inconsequential rule change passed by the NCAA last fall are being felt all the way to St. Cloud.
After one appearance at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota High School All-Star Football game will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium on the campus of St. Cloud State.
The stadium had been the game's home from 2005 through 2010 before it was moved last year to what was thought to be a permanent home at the University of Minnesota.
But seeking to limit recruiting advantages, the NCAA announced legislation in September that prevents Division I football facilities from hosting nonscholastic competitions. That includes high school all-star games.
"The belief is that the rule was aimed more at 7-on-7 passing leagues and tournaments, but it was written to address all events that might give an unfair recruiting advantage to a host school," said Dave Giles, public relations coordinator for the game. "There is talk about petitioning the NCAA to get a waiver for this game so we can move it back [to TCF Bank Stadium]."
Saturday's game will be the 39th in the current annual series and the 50th overall. It began in 1945 and has endured through two significant periods -- 1947 through 1951 and 1961 through 1973 -- in which the game was not held. The game was resumed in 1974 and has been played every year since.
Limited to recently graduated seniors, the game features many of the state's top players. But fans hoping to catch a glimpse of future University of Minnesota players such as Phillip Nelson from Mankato West or Jonah Pirsig of Blue Earth are out of luck. A 2006 NCAA rule change allows BCS schools to consider their scholarship signees as members of their program upon fulfillment of high school graduation requirements.
Saturday's game will mark the second in a row to be played in the original North-vs.-South format, which is how the teams were divided through 1979. The North team won 17-7 last year. From 1980 through 2010, the players were divided into metro and outstate squads.