Big Ten Cancels Football
A nation that failed to control the pandemic is going to be without college sports this fall.
The first major conference has announced that they will not play football this fall. The other four will almost surely follow suit.
The Detroit News broke the story (“Big Ten cancels football season, Pac-12 on verge of pulling plug, SEC and Big 12 mull conference realignment“):
The college football season doesn’t look like it’ll be happening. At least per multiple reports on the Power 5 conferences in the country.
The Big Ten and the Pac-12 would be canceling their football seasons on Tuesday, according to the Dan Patrick Show. Both of those conferences had groups of players band together and create statements demanding increased protections against COVID-19 along with other demands. But by Monday morning, the Big Ten had canceled the football season, per the Detriot Free Press.
The ACC and the Big 12 are currently on the fence in regards to a football season and the SEC is trying to get both of those leagues to continue forward with the season, according to Patrick.
While the Big Ten won’t be playing football as a whole this season, it appears that the powerhouse Big Ten schools are still trying to keep their football hopes alive. Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan reached out to the Big 12 to potentially join their conference for the upcoming season in the event that the Big Ten shuts down for the fall, according to Rick Neuheisel.
The SEC has reached out to Texas and Oklahoma to gauge their interest in joining the SEC for the season — if the SEC can manage to start a season. Right now, the SEC is delaying talks to decide whether to cancel or postpone.
Given the money at stake—to say nothing of the degree to which college football is part of the fabric of life in the South and Midwest—one understands the desperation of the big-time programs to salvage a season. But, as I’ve been saying for weeks, it’s just not realistic.
College presidents have a duty to parents and students alike to protect those with whose care they’ve been entrusted. It would be wildly irresponsible to pack them into buses and planes for cross-country games. At the end of the day, I can’t imagine they’re going to do that.
Other countries have managed to get sports going again. The US has dipped a toe into the waters with the professional leagues, with mixed success. But adults making good living from the games are a whole different animal than 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old kids.
Additionally, my lay understanding is that, with the exception of Notre Dame and a handful of other independents, the various television deals are with conferences, not individual schools. Indeed, the only reason the Big 12 and ACC didn’t collapse a few years back when there was a realignment frenzy is that schools had signed away their rights for years on end with onerous penalties for leaving. So, I don’t know that the schools would even reap the financial rewards for these desperate moves.