Kevin Warren Contradicts Minnesota President and Penn State AD Over Whether Big Ten Voted

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Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren published an open letter explaining the conference’s rationale in canceling football season. The key sentence in it was as follows: “The vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited.”

It has been a whirlwind 1.5 weeks on this topic. Here’s the timeline:

  • Last Monday, Dan Patrick and the Detroit Free-Press reported that the Big Ten presidents had voted 12-2 in favor of canceling the season, with the lone holdouts being Iowa and Nebraska.
  • Later that day, the Big Ten issued an on the record statement saying “no vote has been taken”
  • Also last Monday, credible reports out of Ohio indicated Ohio State president Kristina Johnson would not vote in favor of canceling the season
  • Last Tuesday, the Big Ten announced that fall sports would be canceled
  • This week, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel said: “We didn’t vote, per se. It’s a deliberative process where we came to a decision together, but I absolutely support the decision that we came to. Safety first. Absolutely, safety first.”
  • Penn State’s athletic director Sandy Barbour said she was unsure if the Big Ten presidents ever actually voted.

If the Big Ten actually formally voted before announcing the decision to cancel the season, why are Minnesota’s president and Penn State’s athletic director unsure if it happened? And, given that every university in the Big Ten except for Northwestern is public, shouldn’t we be able to see the results of said vote?

This is besides the fact that Ohio State is the most significant program in the conference and that their vote should count for more than 1/14th. For the time being at least, Michigan appears to have stalled their reported plans to stage a mutiny along with those two schools, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Penn State.

Further, this Big Ten plan to hold a season in the winter is going to be disastrous. It’s not safe to hold games outside in September and October, but it’ll be safe to hold them indoors in the height of flu season in the winter? Purdue coach Jeff Brohm’s plan to stage 8 games in the winter/spring and 10 games in the fall — and thus 18 games in a calendar year — is problematic for player safety. Many of the best players will sit out the winter/spring season and it’ll feel rinky dink. And, it’s unlikely vaccines will be available at that point at a scale where it’s realistic to distribute them to our healthiest 18-22 year olds in the country.

This all remains a complete debacle.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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