Crosstown Showdown will leave Nippert Stadium due to revised NCAA rules

CINCINNATI -- One of Cincinnati's high school sports institutions will undergo a major change this season, on its 20th anniversary.

The Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown will move off the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium this year, a source close to the showcase told WCPO Tuesday evening.

A new schedule will be announced Monday on Twitter and on the showcase's website, officials told WCPO.

The showcase has featured the Tri-State's top high school football teams at Nippert Stadium since 1998 (with the exception of one year when Nippert underwent renovations). The showcase will move off UC's campus to abide by revised NCAA rules that prohibit regular season football games to be played on college campuses in August.

Because an early December NCAA signing period was added, August is now considered a recruiting "dead period," meaning college coaches cannot have face-to-face contact with a high school student-athlete, nor may college coaches visit high schools, according to the NCAA.

University of Cincinnati is aware of the issue posed by the revised rules, according to UC sports information director Ryan Koslen.

"With the recent change in football recruiting calendar, August is now a dead period. That means no events can be hosted on campus," Koslen said. "The second issue is the third-party promoter. If it was two schools playing a game on their own and it wasn't in August, then it would be allowed."

This rule means Miami University is also not an option; Miami hosted the game when Nippert underwent renovations.

This year's Crosstown Showdown is scheduled for Aug. 25 and 26. Twenty-one games are scheduled for this year's showcase, including the Southeast Indiana/Northern Kentucky Kickoff. See the full schedule and team records here.

Six games are scheduled to be played at Nippert Stadium: Elder vs. Lakota West and Colerain vs. La Salle on Friday, and Lakota East vs. Walnut Hills, Milford vs. Oak Hills, Hinsdale Central (Ill.) vs. St. Xavier and Hamilton vs. Moeller on Saturday.

Showcase Director Tom Gamble told WCPO that he couldn't confirm any details of the showdown's future, but he said he would "have details in an announcement" in the next few days.

The showcase is the longest-running high school football showcase of its kind in the country, according to its website. The only local sporting event with a longer tenure is the Crosstown Shootout game between Xavier University and UC basketball.

Get the latest preps sports news by joining our Cincinnati Area High School Sports Facebook group.

Editor’s note: WCPO does not ordinarily use anonymous sources. However, WCPO staff members use anonymous sources in rare circumstances where such sources are the only way to obtain information vital to the public good. WCPO staff members have vetted these sources and believe the information they provide to be accurate and in good faith.

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