Parents of OSU, Iowa Players Express Frustration with Big Ten PostponementAugust 15, 2020
The Big Ten has postponed all fall sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year, and parents of Iowa and Ohio State football players have expressed frustration and demanded answers regarding the Big Ten's decision, per ESPN's Heather Dinich.
Iowa football parents hand-delivered a letter to Big Ten offices in Chicago on Friday, per Dinich. The letter can be read in its entirety on the Gazette website. Part of the letter chastises the conference for making calls without players providing input:
"The fact that the Big Ten and the Council of Presidents and Chancellors made this decision with no input from those actually assuming these risk is appalling. The lack of unity, strategic planning, leadership and communication are why we are in the position that we are currently in. The unwillingness to provide transparent health information and the perceived hypocrisy of allowing the players to be exposed to some long-term life altering risks, seems to be acceptable."
The letter closed by imploring the Big Ten to reconsider playing a fall football season after further discussion involving more people and requesting a "prompt response."
Ohio State parents expressed similar sentiments to Dinich, with Corey Teague, the father of running back Master Teague III, saying this:
"It's unacceptable. It's something that needs more explanation because when you go in a certain direction and days later it changes, and no one has spoken to anyone else, and players weren't able to be involved in this decision, and the protocols that were put in by Ohio State were very successful. It's unfortunate and I don't know if it's shortsightedness there, lack of leadership, but it's definitely something that needs to be rectified and more dialogue needs to happen. It's just a very messy situation, and we want to clean it up."
The same went for Kristina Miller, the mother of sophomore offensive lineman Harry Miller, who told Dinich: "There's been no communication, no transparency, nothing to say what has changed in the last five days that we give you your schedule and we cancel the season within five days. There's been nothing."
Division I-FBS conferences have made individual decisions regarding the statuses of their fall sports. In addition to the Big Ten, the Pac-12, Mountain West and Mid-American conferences will not be playing fall sports before the end of 2020.
On the flip side, the ACC, Big 12 and SEC will look to represent Power Five leagues with fall sports, albeit with a slight delay into September.
The 2020 calendar year will mark the first time Big Ten football was not played since 1895, when the league previously known as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was established. The league's first-ever football season occurred in 1896.