Midwest leaders call on Big Ten commissioner to resume football season
At least ten elected officials from the Midwest signed a letter to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren on Tuesday asking that he reconsider the decision to postpone the fall football season.
The letter was sent by Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and signed by Republican legislators from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“The B1G can play sports safely. And the B1G should play sports safely. They should reverse the decision. Here’s a letter that Midwest legislative leaders sent to Commissioner Warren today urging the reconsideration of the decision to cancel fall sports. Let’s go! #LetTheB1GPlay,” tweeted Chatfield.
Chatfield and the other Republicans said they have heard from a number of stakeholders on the topic.
“After hearing from many concerned students, parents and coaches, we have been encouraged to convey our support for their wishes and our responsibility to defend the students’ long-term academic and career interests,” the letter says.
The lawmakers said the Big Ten’s decision not to play football in the fall puts the conference at a disadvantage while other conferences across the nation are still playing.
“Recent actions taken by other conferences across the country to start football and other fall sports have placed the Big Ten, its members and students at a disadvantage. These athletes are losing a vital part of student life and are becoming less marketable to future employers with each passing week. Additionally, our local universities stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars that support vital student scholarships.”
In their letter, the lawmakers praised the conference’s planning and teamwork when it came to prepping for a season during the global pandemic. They seemed puzzled that the conference didn’t even attempt to start the season.
“Just last month, under your leadership, the Big Ten released updated and enhanced testing, quarantine and isolation policies,” the letter reads. “Our coaches and players should be given a chance to make them work.”
The letter says that the support from players, parents, coaches and fans has been “overwhelming” and asks Warren and the conference to seriously take these concerns to heart.
President Donald Trump has also weighed in on the Big Ten’s decision saying that the season should resume immediately.
“Had a very productive conversation with Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, about immediately starting up Big Ten football. Would be good (great!) for everyone – Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line,” Trump tweeted.
It is unlikely the conference will change course. Only the presidents of Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State originally voted against the postponement.
PHOTO: AP Photo/David Eggert, File
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