Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a “roadblock” to the six-team, 10-game Big Ten fall season that Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was working on, according to OSU reporter Jeff Snook. Gene Smith is publicly denying Snook’s report, but Snook’s standing by his “credible source” who says Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State were onboard with the Ohio State plan. Wisconsin and Michigan were needed to make this plan work, according to Snook.
“I also was also told that one roadblock to the new plan is the fact that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vehemently opposed to football being played – at the high school and college level – in the state this fall,” Snook says in his latest update.
Whitmer was on record in mid-May stating, “we can have sports, just the way we observe them might look different for a while.” But this is a state where gyms and bowling alleys are still closed.
“We’re going to be in a new normal for quite a while,” Whitmer said in mid-May, “and it doesn’t mean that sports is over. Sports is not over. We need a vaccine, and we need mass quantities available to be able to test and acknowledge we have some immunity built up. We’re not there yet. Until that happens, I think all the organizers of these leagues understand how important it is that we act responsibly here.”
Would Purdue or Indiana make more sense at this point to get the season off the ground? Notre Dame will play fall football so there’s less legislative resistance there from Indiana. Snook isn’t reporting of backup plans if Michigan doesn’t come along.
In other words, Gene Smith has to keep working at this if the Buckeyes are going to have fall football. He can’t depend on Michigan at this point.
To update you on my report from late last night that Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith was working to salvage a…
Reached out to @OSU_AD on Jeff Snook Facebook report that Smith is still working behind the scenes to create a Big 10 football season. Gene’s texted response “not true.” I responded “you are committed to the spring ?” No answer just yet.
— Clay Hall (@claywsyx6) August 19, 2020