At this point people are merely looking for answers.
The decision to postpone college football in the Big Ten had to be extremely difficult. The face of that decision is Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. He likely wasn’t the one who made the final decision. That would be the University Presidents. They likely made the unpopular decision and then pushed Kevin Warren out to explain it.
It was perfectly set up for him. All he had to do was appear on the Big Ten Network and answer some softball questions from BTN’s Dave Revsine.
Could not be any easier than that but somehow it turned into a disaster.
Then Nebraska released a statement signed by the University of Nebraska Chancellor, President, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach which stated that Nebraska disagreed with the decision and would continue to look for a way to still play college football in the fall.
Then stuff hit the fan.
As I wrote about on Thursday, several members of the national media were upset to say the least.
Warren made a statement to ESPN saying, “My expectation is that when you’re in a conference, you can’t be in a conference and be an independent. That’s where we are. I expect our 14 members to go forward together.”
Nebraska issued a statement saying they are committed to staying in the Big Ten. Nebraska’s Athletic Director, in an interview on Sports Nightly on Thursday night, said that the Big Ten’s decision to “postpone” the season and not to “cancel” it precluded Nebraska from moving forward to play in the fall.
It is my opinion that the Big Ten leadership has no interest in playing football in the spring. They made the shrewd move to “postpone” the season instead of “cancel” it because that would have provided an avenue for the likes of Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska to go find their own non-conference schedule.
That would go against over a century worth of Big Ten teams falling in behind a decision.
Done and done right? Apparently not.
People are still waiting on answers from Big Ten leadership. How is the decision to move football to the spring going to affect eligibility? Is there going to be an increase in scholarships allowed on a roster? What about the seniors? Will early enrollees be able to play this spring? What about players who have aspirations to get drafted? What about all of these questions?
Or what exactly is the plan to play in the spring? The leadership or guidance from the Big Ten has apparently been so bad that Ryan Day and Jeff Brohm, head coaches of Ohio State and Purdue respectively, issued their proposed plans for the spring.
In fact, it was said that there wasn’t even a discussion among the leadership about the idea of a spring season until last week. I understand things change from day-to-day but how was there not even a discussion?
Is the Big Ten currently putting a plan together right now? No idea. There is nothing but silence coming out of the Big Ten.
The big one however is what exactly went into the decision to postpone the fall college football season? This is what everybody is waiting on. It isn’t just Nebraska. The parents of the players from Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State and Nebraska have started writing letters to Commissioner Warren looking for answers.
There was a little light when Sports Illustrated reported that there was a study which was a part of the decision to postpone the season because of potential cardiovascular issues. Why did we have to hear about this from Sports Illustrated? This should have come straight from the Big Ten.
Following the decision to postpone the SEC issued a statement that they would like to know what the Big Ten knows. When the SEC learned about that study they essentially said, “Ya we saw that study.” They are going forward anyways. What does the SEC know that the Big Ten doesn’t know?
Well we found out today. It turns out that the study the Big Ten leadership leaned on in it’s decision is flawed. Venk Murthy, a Michigan cardiologist who is extremely respected in his profession, also said he really could not care less if there was football. He’s “not a football guy.”
He said that the study needs to be retracted.
The Big 10 report on COVID relies heavily on this paper which found rampant abnormalities among normal controls and had many statistic that make no sense.— Venk Murthy (@venkmurthy) August 14, 2020
Time to retract or correct this paper. https://t.co/JY86C3zBBQ
There still could be many valid reasons the Big Ten relied on to make the decision to postpone college football. Unfortunately the leadership has been nowhere to be found.
This is not just on Kevin Warren. This is also on the University Presidents.
Simple communication would take care of many of these issues. These are smart people and you would think they would understand that point. It feels like they are hiding.
Questions continue to arise and the Big Ten has responded with silence. I would actually consider it impressive if it wasn’t so sad.