While no decisions have yet been made regarding the Big Ten fall sports season, rumblings and rumors have hinted that the league may cancel or postpone.
If that were to happen, Scott Frost, head coach of the University of Nebraska football team said on Monday that his team would look at other options — including non-conference games. Frost made his comments during a Zoom teleconference with reporters.
"We're a proud member of the Big Ten," Frost said, according to ESPN. "We want to play a Big Ten schedule. I think the only reason we would look at any other options is if for some reason the Big Ten wasn't playing and only a handful of teams from the Big Ten wanted to continue playing. I think if that's the case, I think we're prepared to look at any and all options."
Big Ten presidents are reportedly planning to meet Tuesday morning to decide the fate of fall sports this year — with options under consideration including pushing the season back until Sept. 26 or postponing until spring. ESPN reports that a majority of Big Ten ADs aren’t ready to “pull the plug” on fall sports.
Frost contended that student-athletes would be safe in a more controlled environment on campus.
"If we send kids home, they're going to be in closer contact with a lot of family members and other people that might be at higher risk for coronavirus than if we keep them here in an environment, where they're around other healthy, young people," Frost said. "If I had a son, I would want him playing football. I think this is the safest place he could be, and a lot of schools around the conference probably feel the same way, that the safest environment we can put these guys in is an environment where they're being monitored constantly, being screened, being tested, being taken care of [and] being protected if they do get sick.”
Frost appeared to be backed up by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, who drafted a letter to Big Ten presidents which was obtained by Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, writing, “Many of you think that football is safer than no football, but you also know that you will be blamed if there is football, whereas you can duck any blame if you cancel football.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has drafted a letter that he plans to send to Big Ten presidents, identifying reasons why he believes college football should be played.@SINow obtained a copy.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 10, 2020
Sasse is a former university president. pic.twitter.com/xrpRjiWREf
Meanwhile, Big Ten football coaches Ryan Day, James Franklin and Jim Harbaugh all indicated their desire to play football in the fall on Monday. Day, who coaches the Ohio State Buckeyes, said that he would consider options outside of the Big Ten as well, telling reporters "We need to look at every option. And if that's the only option, we need to explore it and see if that's something we can do.”