In wake of the Big Ten postponing its season yesterday, Nebraska is making a lot of noise. When the initial report from the Detroit Free Press surfaced Monday, Huskers head coach Scott Frost mentioned the possibility of his program possibly playing outside of the Big Ten in 2020.
School officials are also still hopeful to compete. However, that could come at a heavy price. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren told Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports that the school could not play and continue to be a member of the conference.
The words that have come out of Lincoln have sparked a reaction from national media. Former Michigan wide receiver and ESPN analyst Desmond Howard is the latest to weigh in.
“I would demand a public apology from Nebraska, and if I’m Kevin Warren, I’m working on a way to get their ass out of the Big 10. They ain’t Notre Dame, baby. They don’t have that cache,” he said on ESPN’s morning show Get Up.
The Tuesday joint statement from NU President Ted Carter, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green, athletic director Bill Moos and Frost expressed their disappointment in the Big Ten’s decision.
“Safety comes first,” the statement read. “Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolutely safest place for our student athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures and the structure and support provided by Husker athletics.
“We will continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the situation as it emerges. We hope it may be possible for our student athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”
Speaking on the Big Ten Network on Tuesday afternoon, Warren was asked specifically about Nebraska’s stance and whether it would be possible for a team to play games if the conference did not play this fall.
“I understand the passion, I understand the many things that have been said and I expect many things will be said, but I’m proud to be in the Big Ten. It’s been a challenging year so far for many people on multiple levels,” Warren said.
Warren was pressed again if Nebraska or any other school could play elsewhere. He said the Big Ten is working to figure out a number of issues.
“I know what was said,” Warren said. “These are things there will be a lot of other issues arise, and raised that we’ll address at the appropriate time. Today is not the appropriate day to do that. There are no games today, but at this point in time I’d like to focus on the announcement.”
Officials from other Big Ten schools, most notably Ohio State, have said they will abide by the Big Ten’s decision, although there was some grumbling about it in doing so. “Obviously we would have preferred to play. We were very aligned in our position that we could’ve made it happen …” said Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith on BTN.
“Our football players want to play. Our coaches want to coach,” Frost said on Monday. “We want to play football this year at the University of Nebraska … We’re a proud member of the Big Ten … We want to play a Big Ten schedule … I think our university is committed to playing football anyway we can regardless of what anyone else does.”