Since the Big Ten canceled its 2020 college football season due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, players and fans have wanted to know when football will return.
Now, amid intensified outrage within the conference, Ohio State Buckeyes coach Ryan Day is taking the next step in the fight to bring players back to the field.
Will the Big Ten play football in 2020?
The Big Ten announced in August it was canceling the season, joining the Pac-12 Conference and other prominent programs. While the Pac-12 has avoided significant blowback, largely due to their detailed medical explanation, the Big Ten faced intense criticism and public pressure.
Recently, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren had a phone call with President Donald Trump after POTUS blasted the conference for suspending football. The discussion seemed to go well, with Trump indicating the Big Ten would return soon.
It’s now been more than a week since the call took place without any signs of momentum towards the Big Ten taking steps towards a return. As frustrations from players, fans and family members intensify, Day decided to use his platform to call for action from conference officials.
While Big Ten officials have refused to publicly comment on college football returning this fall, that hasn’t stopped rumors from getting out and university heads from providing hope to football fans.
Recently, Ohio State’s president offered a glimmer of light for Big Ten football to return this fall. Meanwhile, leaks from within the conference hinted at teams playing in the winter with some discussion about kicking off around Thanksgiving.
All of this began when the conference’s council of presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone the 2020 college football season. Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa were the schools that voted against the delay.
The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach detailed the key hurdles that must be addressed for the Big Ten to return, which Warren asked assistance with during the call with President Trump. During that conversation, the commissioner outlined the need for assistance in gaining access to rapid testing, contact tracing and better medical equipment to conduct cardiac testing among student-athletes.
As the Big Ten deals with anger both internally and from around the country, other Power 5 conferences will be playing football. The ACC and Big 12 kick off their 2020 seasons this week, while the SEC will begin its schedule later this month.