After a lawsuit filed by eight University of Nebraska football players was filed in court, the Big Ten softened its stance on fall sports. Both the Big Ten and Pac 12 are discussing a Thanksgiving start for their seasons. That’s a full six weeks earlier than what was being discussed previously.
Athletic directors last weekend leaked that they had voted unanimously to allow play starting in early September. Iowa announced it was cutting four varsity sports programs, and several other schools began disclosing expected losses of more than $50 million. Cardiologists with the University of Michigan Health System actively questioned the Big Ten’s medical justifications, specifically the threat of myocarditis in athletes who are recovering from a COVID-19 infection. Parents spoke out against the decision, and some even went so far as to protest at the conference’s headquarters in Chicago. It is hard to imagine that this concession will appease the Big Ten’s detractors. The stage is now set for a full walk-back of the cancellation. If that were to happen, play would most likely begin in late September.
Photo of Commissioner Kevin Warren courtesy of Big Ten's website