The Big Ten postponed the fall football season Tuesday afternoon, but Nebraska isn’t giving up hope that it can find a way to play in 2020.
Following the conference’s announcement, Huskers head coach Scott Frost, athletic director Bill Moos, chancellor Ronnie Green and president Ted Carter didn’t hold back when they released a joint statement on the news.
“We are very disappointed by the Big Ten Conference to postpone the fall football season, as we have been and continue to be ready to play.
“Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute safest place for our student athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures, and the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics.
“We will continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the situation as it emerges. We hope it may be possible for our student athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren was asked by Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel about the possibility of the school playing football his fall.
“No,” Warren said. “Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh also released a statement saying he and the Wolverines were “disappointed” by the postponement, while Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he understood the decision.
“We’re disappointed, we really are…But we certainly understand that this was the time that we had to pull the plug,” Smith told the Big Ten Network during an interview.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker released a statement saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has added “enormous stress” for the players and their families. While the postponement is “not easy for anyone,” he added, “I respect the decision of the Big Ten Conference.”
Nebraska’s reaction isn’t shocking considering Frost echoed a similar sentiment in a press conference Monday.
“Our university is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. …We certainly hope it’s in the Big Ten. If it isn’t, I think we’re prepared to look for other options,” he said.
Frost was among an intense lobbying campaign around the Big Ten to hold the 2020 football season as scheduled. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day also said the Buckeyes would explore other playing options if needed, while Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh penned a letter urging the conference to play football this fall.
But by late Tuesday afternoon, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 voted to postpone fall sports and said they would attempt to play in spring 2021.
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