Big 10 Conference

Big 10 Conference logo
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President Donald Trump was quick to spike the ball in celebration when the Big Ten announced the return of fall football at colleges clustered in some of the Midwest battleground states critical to his reelection effort. But his efforts to reverse last month's decision to postpone fall sports in the conference because of the novel coronavirus were far from the only factor that led officials to change course. The Big Ten was under enormous pressure to restart the season from athletes, parents, coaches and college towns that rely on football Saturdays to provide much needed tax revenue.

One day after Michigan Republican leaders called on the Big-10 to reconsider its decision to shut down the football season, Governor and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that the Big-10 made the right decision.

The comments came Wednesday morning on the MSNBC program Morning Joe, when Whitmer, a guest on the program said, she supported the Big-10’s decision to postpone the football season this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In a letter from Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield and signed by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, the Republican leaders urged the Big 10 Tuesday to re-examine its decision to cancel the football season.

The letter, signed by Republican lawmakers from five other states as well, states that “recent actions taken by other conferences across the country to start football and other fall sports have placed the Big 10…at a disadvantage.”

Big 10 Conference logo
Wikimedia Commons

The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences won't play football this fall because of concerns about COVID-19. The decisions take two of college football's five power conferences out of a crumbling season amid the pandemic. The Big Ten's announcement that it was postponing all fall sports and hoping to make them up in the second semester came first. An hour later, the Pac-12 called a news conference to say that all sports in its conference would be paused until Jan. 1, including basketball.