Warren Shuts Down Nebraska's Pursuit Of Fall Football Season
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren indicated that Nebraska is "not allowed to pursue a fall football schedule after the league chose to postpone its season until spring 2021," according to Sam McKewon of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD. In a brief statement released after the Big Ten announced its decision to postpone, all of NU's leaders announced that Nebraska was "still looking to play this fall." The statement concluded, "We will continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the situation as it emerges." But Warren in an interview with Yahoo Sports said, "No. Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.” Earlier yesterday, Warren twice said that discussing Nebraska's interest was a "different issue for a different day." Warren: "These are things that I’m sure there will be a lot of issues that arise and be raised that we’ll address at the appropriate time." On Monday, Nebraska football coach Scott Frost said that the school "would look into scheduling its own opponents if the Big Ten decided to postpone the fall season" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 8/12).
SPEAKING OUT: In Omaha, McKewon, Bland & Ruggles note NU President Ted Carter, UN-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, AD Bill Moos and Frost "clearly disagreed" with the Big Ten's decision. North Dakota State "has already contacted the Huskers to play a game this fall" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 8/12). The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein said Warren should think about letting Nebraska play its own schedule. Greenstein: "Let’s just say Nebraska and Iowa are dying to play football. Is it right for the Big Ten to say, ‘No, you’re not permitted if you can put together a schedule?’ I’m sure it’s not going to happen, but I think you could make a compelling case that they should be able to" ("The Paul Finebaum Show," ESPN Radio, 8/11).
AROUND THE LEAGUE: Outside of Nebraska, league schools "seemed resigned to a fall without football." A sampling:
- Purdue coach Jeff Brohm: “I’m not going to second-guess Commissioner Warren or our medical experts."
- Ohio State AD Gene Smith said that the league’s decision "came earlier than he would have liked, but he said medical experts helped leaders understand what they needed to do."
- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said that his administrators "voted to play in the fall and tried to lobby others to do the same, but then pivoted to spring" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 8/12).
- Penn State AD Sandy Barbour said she supported the decision, that it was “best for the long-term health and safety of our student-athletes" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/12).
- Michigan State AD Bill Beekman, MSU President Samuel Stanley and football coach Mel Tucker all addressed the postponement, and none "expressed any disagreement with the decision ... nor any plans to explore an independent schedule" (MLIVE.com, 8/12).