After the Big Ten Conference this week announced its decision to cancel fall sports, leaders at the University of Nebraska were not shy about expressing their displeasure — even suggesting that the school would seek to fill its schedule with non-league opponents.
But Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren quickly pushed back on that idea, telling Yahoo Sports that should the Huskers attempt a season that they would no longer be considered a member of the conference. Asked specifically whether the Huskers could play football in fall, Warren responded, “No, not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”
However, USA Today reports that university chancellor Ronnie Green, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts and athletics administrators are united in the belief that Nebraska can pull off a safe season — and do so with fans in the stands.
According to USA Today, whether the Huskers have a hand to play may depend on league bylaws, which are not public. If there are specific rules preventing the school from playing games in this circumstance, the only choice could be between playing football and seeking a new conference home or not playing football and remaining a member of the Big Ten.
Green released a joint-statement on Twitter, however, stating the school’s commitment to the league.
Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2010, during a period of conference realignment that ultimately saw the league grow to 14 members.