Documents Reveal Details Of Big Ten's Vote To Postpone Fall Sports
Big Ten presidents and chancellors "voted 11-3 to postpone the fall college football season due to health and safety concerns tied to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to Nicole Auerbach of THE ATHLETIC. A source said that the "three dissenting votes were Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio State." The conference now "intends to provide some transparency to the players and the parents who have repeatedly called for it regarding the league's decision-making process on the way to postponement, even while the Big Ten is seeking the dismissal of the relevant lawsuit filed last week by eight Nebraska football players." The Nebraska players "filed suit against the Big Ten in Lancaster County District Court." Two sworn affidavits filed by the conference, both of which "confirm the 11-3 vote, were signed by" Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, the Chair of the league's council of presidents and chancellors (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/31).
DEFENDING ITS DECISION: The AP's Eric Olson reported the Big Ten's filing also said that the conference based its decision to postpone fall sports on "multiple factors, including the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee" (AP, 8/31). In Omaha, Evan Bland reports the conference further "argued that there was no evidence that anyone acted in 'bad faith' in the decision." It cited "legal precedent protecting deliberations of good-faith decisions of nonprofit boards like the Big Ten to prevent disclosing further details" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/1).
MAKING AN APPEAL: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said that the Big Ten "had 'made a mistake,' both in the decision it made and how it was announced, and he called for conference officials to reconsider." Ricketts said, "The Big Ten has taken a bad approach with regard to this, and I would certainly encourage the Big Ten to reexamine what they're doing because they're penalizing a lot of folks here." Ricketts added that conference officials "should let member universities make decisions based on the situations in their particular location" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/1).
TRUMP CHIMES IN: President Trump this morning tweeted that he had a "very productive conversation" with Warren about "immediately starting up Big Ten football." Trump: "On the one yard line!" (TWITTER.com, 9/1).