Iowa's 2021 Commits Voice Opinions On Big Ten Stopping Fall Season
The Big Ten made if official on Tuesday, announcing that football, as well as all other fall sports, would be postponed until the spring.
But how does this affect the incoming high school seniors?
As other states cancelled or postponed their high school football seasons this fall, there's a chance additional players would opt to enroll early.
"Our policy with that is if players are really compelled to do it, we let them enroll early," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We don't encourage it, necessarily. If they choose to do it, that's up to them."
Three-star defensive lineman Jeremiah Pittman, who is from Arlington Heights, Illinois, already knows what it's like not to be able to play football; Illinois announced there would be no high school football this fall and that play would resume in the spring, much like the Big Ten's stance.
Pittman wasn't necessarily caught off-guard completely, given how COVID-19 affected his senior season, but it wasn't ideal.
"It wasn't that big of a surprise but it still shocked me a bit," Pittman said in a text message. "Very unfortunate."
"I thought the Big Ten made the decision way too early," quarterback Joey Labas said in a text message. "I think it is too early to tell what exactly we should do and I also think the players throughout the Big Ten should have a say and be in the conversation of playing football at the normal time.
"The Big Ten, along with every other conference, should think about the 'high risk, high reward' part of this. You have classrooms out there that kids still have to attend to but there can't be any outdoor football? I don't know. Nevertheless, fall sports are cancelled in the Big Ten and it's done with. Nothing we can do about it now but to just do our part, keep our distance still, wear masks, etc, and hopefully we will see some football sooner than later."
Wide receiver Brody Brecht wasn't a fan of the decision either. Brecht, a three-star recruit from Ankeny, thinks the Big Ten should keep athletics as they were schedules.
"I think they should keep it this fall," Brecht said in a text message. "I think they created more problems by moving it back. COVID is a virus, it's still going to be here in the spring.
"I think they should keep it in the fall or give teams the option to join another conference."
Brecht said that wideout coach Kelton Copeland texted the position group chat the news, expressing their disappointment.
"I think they're still trying to comprehend what happened," Brecht said.
Hypothetically, if Brecht, Pittman, or any of the 2021 commits opted to enroll early, it might look differently, given that there's the chance for a spring football season in what would typically be the offseason.
In a normal year, freshman can play in up to four games and still be able to redshirt. In the event of any commits enrolling early, there are still no answers from the NCAAA on if that rule would s.
"I would hope that would remain and that would give guys potential access to playing," Ferentz said. "So we'll just have to see how that unfolds and what the interpretations are. Right now, it's kind of an open book."
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