TUESDAY LIVE BLOG: As Big Ten Decision Nears, Conspiracy Theories Developing

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Big Ten presidents and chancellors met for most of Sunday afternoon to discuss the return of football in the fall, but they retired for the evening without voting on a plan.

Monday came and went, too, and there was nary a word from the Big Ten offices on a decision. That might have just been temporary, and a vote could happen at any time, but several people are tired of waiting to hear something.

It's players and coaches, of course, because they are the ones most immediately affected. But there are also many critics in the media as well, many of whom can't understand — myself included — why the Big Ten is choosing to stay so quiet throughout this process. The optics for the league are terrible.  

There's been plenty of discussion on whether some schools will opt out of playing after the league votes yes to resume play. Voices have argued on both sides of that issue already this week.

And just like everything else these days, it also gets political. You knew that was coming.

Here's the latest stuff, in reverse chronological order:

Pat Forde Reports No Decision Tuesday Night

6:56 p.m. Tuesday: All the built up anticipation for the day might have to wait until Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reported that there is no indication that there will be a Big Ten decision Tuesday night. However, he said it appears there is still going to be a season, but we're going to have to wait longer for the announcement.

Pete Thamel Reports Coaches are Preparing for October Season

6:21 p.m. Tuesday: Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports has reported that rumors of the Oct. 16-17 start date for Big Ten football has trickled down to the head coaches, so they have been preparing for that the last few days.

Keep in mind there has yet to be an official word from the Big Ten, and it's still expected to come sometime tonight.

Big Ten's Potential Start Dates for New Plan

3:08 p.m. Tuesday: Brett McMurphy from Stadium reported that if the Big Ten does make an announcement to play today, their first option for resuming the season will be eight games in nine weeks, starting Oct. 16-17. 

The Big Ten title game would be Dec. 19, which is the day before the final College Football Playoff rankings.

Option two would be if the Big Ten can't start Oct. 16-17, they will push it back to the following weekend.

Penn State's Shaka Toney Wants Calm Before the Storm

2:40 p.m. Tuesday: Penn State defensive end Shaka Toney put out a request on Twitter that everyone just relax before the Big Ten's expected decision tonight regarding football.

There have been endless rumors about what they will decide, and a lot have come out today, and Toney wants them to stop.

"Everyone only thinking about football," he tweeted. "The rumors y’all keep putting out is destroying our mental health. Just let them announce it please. If you care about players in the B10 just wait for the answer."

Again, there is expected to be a decision sometime today.

Nebraska President's Comments Confirmed

2:18 p.m. Tuesday: Nebraska President Ted Carter tried to say his comments picked up on the hot mic were taken out of context. But for anyone who listens to the video, it's quite clear Carter said, "We're getting ready to announce the Huskers and Big Ten football tonight."

Jeff Potrykus, who covers Wisconsin for the Journal Sentinel, said Carter's comments have been confirmed and all votes are in regarding whether or not the Big Ten will play football.

There should be a decision later today. 

Hot Mic: Nebraska prez says Tuesday night vote

11:57 a.m. Tuesday: According to a report from an Omaha TV stations, uring small talk prior to the start of a news conference Tuesday morning, University of Nebraska President Ted Carter says an announcement of the Husker football season will come Tuesday afternoon or evening.

"We're getting ready to announce the Huskers and Big Ten football tonight", said Carter in a conversation with Bob Hinson, director of the National Strategic Research Institute.

The two were at a podium, just moments prior to a news conference in Lincoln.

SI's Dellenger: Wisconsin chancellor remains silent

Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank is testifying in Washington today about name, image and likeness matters, but she had very little to say about the Big Ten's decision to re-vote on fall football.

According to a tweet for Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, "Rebecca Blank declines to "speak to" reports that B1G is re-evaluating playing. Would it require unanimous vote, she is asked. “I can’t say what the vote is going to look like. ... We almost always decide everything by consensus.”

Blank also said the majority of the decisions are usually unanimous and they don't need to vote. She also talked about the importance of myocarditis news.

Nebraska attorneys question state's moves

11:31 a.m. Tuesday: Several Nebraska attorneys are questioning whether the state’s attorney general has the authority to order the Big Ten to give him extensive documentation on how it decided to postpone the fall football season.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson last week told Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren that the Big Ten appears to be out of compliance with Nebraska’s nonprofit corporation laws.

Peterson asked Warren and the Big Ten to turn over to him a wide range of documentation on the unpopular football decision, which has led to widespread criticism of the conference and a lawsuit filed against it by some Husker football players.

But Jeff Kirkpatrick, former city attorney for Lincoln, said the Big Ten “seemed to me to be an odd nonprofit for the attorney general of Nebraska to pick on all of a sudden. ... from the standpoint of not having jurisdiction.”

Brian Griese: "Decision without consultation'

9:03 a.m. Tuesday: Former Michigan quarterback and current TV analyst Brian Griese ripped the Big Ten for its decision-making process throughout this entire issue since August.

“Certainly, the Big Ten made a decision early on,” Griese said. "They made a decision without consultation with other conferences, which I think was a mistake. 

"I know they wanted to be ahead of it, but at the same time, in a rush to be one of the first and be a leader, I think they made a mistake in not waiting to get more information and more data back. The ones that are suffering are the kids.” 

Tom Brew: It's NOT working everywhere else

6:20 a.m. Tuesday: The go-to line around the country is that the Big Ten should be playing because everyone else is, and that it's all going so swimmingly. But in reality, that's not really true. 

The ACC is playing, they say, but they rarely say that Virginia-Virginia Tech had to be postponed because of positive tests.

Even BYU, which has had to parse together a schedule as an independent, hasn't found it easy. Because of a couple of positive COVID-19 test on its team, it had to postpone its game with Army this week. There's more to come. And the SEC, always the highest and the mightiest in the college football world, hasn't even started playing yet, so don't think for a minute that there won't be land mines along the way.

Army even took a shot at BYU for not protecting its players, reaching out on Twitter for a new "like-minded'' opponent.

Fox's Laura Ingraham: 'Michigan governor working against players'

5:02 a.m. Tuesday: For the past day and change, the football debate turned political on a thread started by popular Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Twitter, who accused Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer of "working against players’ and their families’ interests'' behind closed doors.

She said it without any proof, of course, but the hundreds of comments on the thread have made for interesting reading. Everyone makes everything political these days, but this much is true. People on both sides of the aisle enjoy football and would like to see it come back.

Read all the comments on Ingraham's tweet. It's entertaining.

Penn State's Franklin: 'We're ready to go'

Penn State coach James Franklin said he's been paying attention to everything that's gone on in the past month, and it should matter. "We’ve learned from the other conferences, we’ve learned from the NFL," Franklin said. "We didn’t need to make the decision when we made it. We could have pressed pause, we could have moved some things back like the other conferences did and continue to learn. That’s kind of where we’re at now. 

"Even though we did a pause or cancellation, it's not like we stopped working to resolve the challenges and the issues, and now we're there. If we can get this thing going again and do it soon, then we've got a chance to put everybody in the best situation."

Tom Brew: It shouldn't have to be all or nothing

Wisconsin chancellor: All or nothing

3:53 p.m. ET Monday: Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' tweeted a quote from Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank said during a teleconference when asked about Big Ten football.

"I will say we're all going to move together in the Big Ten. We're all going to play or not if we possibly can. This isn't going to be a school by school thing."

Chad Leistikow, Injury prevention next issue?

3:40 p.m. ET Monday: Des Moines Register columnist Chad Leistikow reminded us that Iowa has had only three practices this entire calendar year and that Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz originally said this summer that four weeks of conditioning and four weeks of practice were needed before playing a game.

Now, there's a question of trying to be ready to play games in four weeks instead of eight. Does that raise safety concerns for players? And with some schools paused from workouts right now anyway because of positive COVID tests, Leistikow had this to say:

Maybe that'll mean some Big Ten teams are ready by Oct. 17, and others aren't.

Indiana's Whop Philyor: Speechless

Throughout this entire process, the voices of players often go unheard. Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor usually has a lot to say, but one picture was better than a lot of words. He tweeted a picture of himself on the practice field.

He just wants to play. They all do.

Presidents a sensitive bunch

1:01 p.m. Monday: The behind-the-scenes trump card — no pun intended — in this entire Big Ten football debate is that the presidents who will make the decision really don't enjoy being out in public and dealing with the media. That's why communication is so horrible through this entire process.

They also get their feelings hurt easily. They don't like being criticized for their decisions, and the backlash from postponing the season back in August has been enormous. These presidents have a lot on their plate, and they don't always put sports first. It's always been that way.

Tom Dienhart of GoldandBlack.com tweeted that he texted with two Big Ten coaches this morning and communication — and hurt feelings —remain an issue.

”Have no clue ... Still feel we will but the COPC not happy about leaks and publicly calling out the commissioner and their decision.”

Tom VanHaaren, ESPN: Wade opt-out from 'lack of clarity'

12:24 p.m. Monday: Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade announced on Monday that he is opting out of the 2020 season regardless of when it gets played so he can concentrated on preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Tom VanHaaren of ESPN talked to Wade, and he said the uncertainty of a season, which is still ongoing, had something to do with it.

"When I talked (to Ohio State coaches) they still had no clarity, there was no clarity with the players, the coaches and the parents,'' Wade said. "That was another thing. With no clarity, you just don't know what's going on, so that was the main decision, that there was no clarity and I'm good either way.''

Dan Patrick: 'Michigan not going to play'

11:05 a.m. Monday: Sports talk radio show host Dan Patrick has thrown a lot of Big Ten stories up against the wall in the past few weeks, and only a a few of them have stuck. He said on his show Monday morning that Michigan won't fall in the fall if the Big Ten season starts back up.

That's bunk, from what my Michigan people tell me. There's a lot going on in Ann Arbor, good and bad, but if the Big Ten is playing, Michigan definitely seems to be all-in.

"The Presidents and Chancellors will vote today. Mich. probably not going to play, Mich. St. not going to play, Maryland's probably [won't] play. But you're going to get Nebraska, Iowa, Purdue, Indiana, Ohio St. Wisconsin wants to play but may not be able to."

Brett McMurphy, Stadium: Yes vote means all 14 play

Brett McMurphy said his sources have said that if the Big Ten plays in the fall, that all 14 schools will play. 

"If Big Ten presidents/chancellors vote to play football in the fall, then all B1G schools will play, sources told @Stadium. Earlier reports indicated if presidents voted to play, some B1G schools might opt not to play, but that will not be the case, source said.''

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