Source: Sen. Ben Sasse to Send Letter Urging Big Ten to Hold Football Season

Author:
Publish date:

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) plans to send a letter to Big Ten presidents pleading them to hold the 2020 college football season, according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger.

In the letter, Sasse details reasons why he believes the season should be played amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Life is about tradeoffs. There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe–that's absolutely true; it's always true. But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18-to-22-year-olds will be if there isn't a season," Sasse wrote. 

"Canceling the fall season would mean closing down socially-distanced, structured programs for these athletes. Young men will be pushed away from universities that are uniquely positioned to provide them with testing and health care."

In his letter, Sasse, the former president at Nebraska's Midland University, referenced Ohio State's Justin Fields and Clemson's Trevor Lawrence's pleas to hold the college football season this fall. The two quarterbacks were among a group of Power 5 football players that announced Sunday they hope to create a College Football Players Association as conferences are still trying to decide if they can hold a season.

There is heavy debate over the future of the season, and the dominoes started to fall on Saturday when the Mid-American Conference postponed all sports. The Big Ten followed with an announcement that it was pausing its scheduled progression to full-pads football practices. Sources told Dellenger and SI's Pat Forde that high-level conference meetings are being planned for this week across the sport with the expected resolution of postponing fall sports until 2021.

According to Yahoo Sports's Pete Thamel, the Big Ten's presidents and chancellors met on a call Sunday night to discuss the fate of the season. Thamel reported the conference expects the "season will be canceled in the upcoming days" and commissioner Kevin Warren even told programs to hold lighter practices on Monday.

If a season happens, the Big Ten is set to play a 10-game, conference-only schedule this fall. Under the new model, some rivalry games have been shifted to earlier weeks in the schedule, including Ohio State and Michigan facing off on Oct. 24 instead of Thanksgiving weekend.