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Big Ten remains without fall sports despite Trump's calls to start the football season



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President Donald Trump, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, delivers remarks on the coronavirus pandemic April 7 in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Trump has made remarks encouraging the Big Ten to reverse the decision to postpone the college football season, including a meeting with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. Tribune News Service

College football is here, and despite opposition from players, coaches and parents, the Big Ten has yet to restart the 2020 fall sports season. 

Individuals such as Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh, have been outspoken in their support of playing the fall season. Fields started a petition Aug. 16 in favor of allowing Big Ten teams to decide if they wished to play this season. 

As of Sunday morning, the petition has more than 300,000 signatures. 

Even President Donald Trump voiced his thoughts on the Big Ten’s decision to postpone all fall sports via Twitter. He took action by speaking with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren Tuesday about how the conference can return to play safely this season. 

"The Big Ten Conference and its Return to Competition Task Force, on behalf of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C), are exhausting every resource to help student-athletes get back to playing the sports they love, at the appropriate time, in the safest and healthiest way possible," the Big Ten said in a statement following Trump’s comment.

The president continued to voice his displeasure in regard to the Big Ten not resuming football on Sunday with a tweet directed at the governors of Michigan, Illinois and Maryland.

This conversation comes after eight Nebraska football players filed a 13-page lawsuit against the Big Ten on Aug. 27, seeking a reversal of the conference’s decision to postpone all fall sports in 2020 due to COVID-19 safety concerns. 

The lawsuit holds three counts against the Big Ten, including wrongful interference with business expectations, breach of contract and declaratory judgment. The final two counts claim the conference’s chancellors and presidents did not hold a vote to suspend fall sports. 

Warren said in an open letter Aug. 19 the league vote was “overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports.” 

The Big Ten released a statement that said the lawsuit had no merit, and the conference would be willing to fight the suit in court. 

Two days prior to the lawsuit, a group of parents representing 11 of the Big Ten’s programs came together and wrote an open letter to Warren asking for transparency regarding the decision to postpone fall sports. The group signed the letter as the “Big 10 Parents United.” 

Despite strong pushes from outside of the conference’s leadership, no decision has been finalized. The country will go another week without seeing the Big Ten on the football field.

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