Big Ten football: 3 reasons returning this fall is a bad move

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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Big Ten football announced its plan to start playing on Oct. 23. Here are three reasons why this was a terrible decision by the conference.

When the Big Ten became the first Power Five conference to announce a postponement of their 2020 college football season from the fall to the spring, it was expected to launch a chain reaction through the rest of the sport. The Pac-12 soon followed, declaring their intentions to play in the spring. But the dominoes never fall beyond that, as the other three Power Five leagues marched ahead with plans to play this fall.

Players, parents, and fans decried the conference’s decision to sit out fall play. Lawsuits were launched, and cries of opacity rang out against Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the university presidents at each of the member schools. We soon learned that the vote to suspend play was hardly unanimous, and dissent soon sprang up loudly at Nebraska, Iowa, and Ohio State.

For the past several weeks, as other teams started play, pressure mounted on the Big Ten to reverse course and resume their season in the 2020 calendar year. On Wednesday, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first broke the news that the conference planned to get back on the field on October 23.

While the news uplifted the spirits of fans of Big Ten teams, it was hardly the most prudent decision that the university presidents could have made. Let’s look at three reasons why this was a shortsighted move by the league.