Updates: Big Ten Denies Cancellation Vote, Trump Weighs In, ODU Cancels

There have been a flurry of reports this morning about college athletics, including a Big Ten spokesperson denying that the conference voted to cancel the football season.

Though changes to fall sports wouldn’t technically impact swimming & diving (a winter sport at the college level), disruptions to the fall season could impact fall training and competition for college swimming programs, and the cancellation of football could have major financial implications on college athletic departments in a year where multiple Division I schools have already cut swimming programs. We run through some of the breaking news updates piece by piece below:

Big Ten Spokesman Denies Football Cancellation

A source told radio host Dan Patrick this morning that presidents of the fourteen Big Ten schools had voted 12-2 to cancel the fall football season. That came after weekend rumblings that the conference was leaning towards cancellation.

But a Big Ten spokesman told reporter Pete Thamel (among others) that the Big Ten presidents had not held a vote on canceling the season. TheSpun interpreted the conflicting reports with a theory: “Some believe the Big Ten may have leaked the news itself to see the public’s reaction,” TheSpun writes.

Final Decision Coming Monday Night?

Yet another reporter now says the Big Ten presidents will meet again on Monday night at 6 PM Eastern Time and will make a final decision on the fall football season:

Trump, Nebraska Senator Weigh In

If the rumor of the vote was a strategy to test public opinion, it certainly stirred up plenty of discussion. Many student-athletes have weighed in on social media with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, calling for college football, among other sports, to continue – though athletes are also calling for schools to establish health and safety standards, and to allow athletes to opt out and retain eligibility if they wish. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, arguably college football’s biggest star, has publicly supported that movement.

President Donald Trump weighed in Monday, retweeting Lawrence’s tweet and calling for the college football season to continue:

Thamel, meanwhile, relayed a conversation with an athletic director who told Thamel “Don’t be surprised to see the politicians get involved.”

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse drafted a letter to the Big Ten, arguing for college football’s fall season to continue. Nebraska was one of two schools (along with Iowa) to vote against the cancellation of the football season, at least according to the Dan Patrick Show.

Michigan Football Coach Jim Harbaugh Writes Letter

On the coaching side, Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh also wrote a statement supporting the college football season in the fall and opposing cancellation. Harbaugh cites the school’s testing data, which he says so far has turned up just 11 positive tests over about two months, including zero positive tests among the last 353 administered.

Old Dominion Postpones Football & Fall Sports

Meanwhile another college in the FBS (the highest level of NCAA Division I football) has officially postponed its fall season. Old Dominion University of Conference USA has announced that it will postpone all fall sports, including football. The school hopes to play fall sports in the spring.

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) canceled its entire fall season, and UConn (an independent FBS school) also suspended its football program for the year.

Pac-12 Remains Up in the Air; SEC To Hold Impromptu Meeting

The Big Ten and Pac-12 were originally rumored to be the two Power-5 conferences leaning towards cancellation. Reports say the Pac-12 hasn’t yet made a decision, and won’t until tomorrow, at the earliest. The Pac-12 has already had football players threaten to boycott the season if the conference doesn’t meet a list of demands ranging from health and safety protections to name/image/likeness reform to social justice initiatives.

And Sports Illustrated reports that the SEC will hold an impromptu meeting with its presidents and chancellors tonight.  Athletic directors from the SEC met for a regularly-scheduled call already today. Dan Patrick had previously reported that the ACC and Big 12 were on the fence about cancelling the season, and the SEC was attempting to get other teams to join the conference for the season.

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James Beam
3 months ago

WAKE ME WHEN COVID IS OVER!!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  James Beam
3 months ago

Man, just when Jim Beam was really helping get through this, he’s throwing in the towel.

James Beam
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 months ago

haha! try my friend Jack D, he’s taking over for me!

PhillyMark
Reply to  James Beam
3 months ago

my gut says early October you’ll be good to go!

leisurely1:29
Reply to  PhillyMark
3 months ago

…to the hospital?

Rookie
Reply to  PhillyMark
2 months ago

You nailed it!

CA_LAWYER
3 months ago

#45 looking out for the student athletes. Should be an interesting chain of events that unfold here.

Alum14
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
3 months ago

What a selfless man!

Swimmer A
Reply to  Alum14
3 months ago

You’re joking, right?

HISWIMCOACH
Reply to  Swimmer A
3 months ago

Swimmer A. I know it may be hard for you to imagine, but many of these student athletes come from very low income neighborhoods. While we can all admit the system is broken, football and sports in general are a way to a better life for many. And yes, college football
Players have a greater chance is getting hit by lightning than dying of Covid 19 (statistically speaking).

But keep on owning trump because that’s what it’s all about.

Arthur Curry
Reply to  HISWIMCOACH
3 months ago

True, college football players who get infected with Covid 19 have a very small statistical chance of dying. But it’s not all about dying. If a football player gets infected and shows symptoms, there is a good chance they will go to the hospital. There they risk infecting other patients, who may be at much higher risk of dying or sustaining long-term damage, and medical staff, whose services are vitally needed. There they take up what in many areas is now a scarce resource: an ICU bed and staff. It’s difficult to imagine a better situation to spread Covid 19 than playing in a football game. A lot of aerosols being pumped out by people breathing very heavily. Very close… Read more »

UCswim
Reply to  HISWIMCOACH
3 months ago

You know why people don’t get hit by lightning? Because we teach them to not go run outside with metal poles when there’s lightning outside…

IU Swammer
Reply to  HISWIMCOACH
3 months ago

If #45 would have done even a half-assed job, then our sports would be like European, Japanese, and Korean leagues—up and running. But instead, we’re reduced to pointless “what if” and “if only” conversations.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  IU Swammer
3 months ago

What would you have suggested #45 do differently? I’m guessing you weren’t critical of him cutting off travel from China and Europe early on. Probably were on his side about not letting people riot/protest for a few months without masks as well.
Mandate masks is about the only thing I would be critical of. You can’t lock people down for 9 months and the states do like their rights. I don’t see Illinois, Washington or Oregon welcoming his help even though they have civil unrest almost daily.

Ex Swimmer
Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 months ago

Justin Thompson… Trump literally spread misinformation and got us into this mess here are four minutes of him spewing the wrong information to the people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgZAazfHo7k

Dbswims
Reply to  Ex Swimmer
3 months ago

Thats why CNN, Twitter, FB all silenced the doctor who said hydroxychloroquine helps with covid after #45 said its effective.

PsychoDad
Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 months ago

>What would you have suggested #45 do differently?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Dbswims
Reply to  IU Swammer
3 months ago

Tell that to Cuomo who killed many in the nursing homes

Steve Nolan
Reply to  HISWIMCOACH
3 months ago

I think those kids would definitely have a better life if we paid them to play football.

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Steve Nolan
3 months ago

Who is we? Do you have a mouse in your pocket? They already get paid with a free education and room and board. That’s a pretty good life for a college student being able to graduate without any debt if they do in fact make it to graduation. I’m not opposed to revenue sharing with them, but would like to see some type of management and education around the money they receive. Professional athletes aren’t great with money and I don’t think a 18-22 year old would fare much better. Giving them a bunch of money to only be broke 2-3 years later isn’t making them better off.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
3 months ago

I’m going to go ahead and quote Pulitzer Prize-winning civil rights historian Taylor Branch in his 2011 piece about the NCAA – he said it exudes “an unmistakable whiff of the plantation” – and I can’t help but think your comment does, too. I’m not trying to be inflammatory! But “why, these boys can’t handle all this money! and we already provide for them, with shelter and meals!” is a bit yeek. We let just “students” that same age go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt paying for their education without much management or education about what that debt means, very few people seem to care. (I’m not saying I’m opposed to helping kids be more financially literate –… Read more »

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Steve Nolan
3 months ago

Yes, of course. My white privileges’ and inbred racism is why I said all that and certainly you aren’t trying to be inflammatory. It’s a weak and pathetic tactic to invoke racism when you can’t make a point.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
3 months ago

Plenty of other sports – baseball and hockey come to mind – have kids drafted and signed when they’re the same age as NCAA football and basketball players. But there’s never the same sort of uproar about that.

I think it’s good for people to be compensated, in actual money, for their labor. You do not.

Dbswims
3 months ago

Incoming arguments about Trump

CA_LAWYER
Reply to  Dbswims
3 months ago

Dude was under fire today and completely unfazed…..a real Boss!

I_Said_It
Reply to  CA_LAWYER
3 months ago

And by unfazed you mean he claimed the Pandemic of 1917 (actually 1918 but why deal with facts) brought the end of World War 2 which ended in 1945….You’re right a real boss.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  I_Said_It
3 months ago

I never understand why we jump on others for getting dates or a detail wrong when they are asked a question. It would be one thing if they were writing something and had time to research, but it’s not unthinkable to get a date wrong or say WW2 instead of WW1 as it happens daily from public figures.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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