Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren had a phone call with President Donald Trump on Tuesday after a White House official called for discussions on how the conference could resume college football as soon as possible.
Speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday, Trump said the call with Warren was “very productive.”
“I think it was very productive to get [the] Big Ten is playing again and immediately, ”Trump said. Let’s see what’s going on. He’s a great guy. It’s a great conference, great teams. We are pushing very hard. … I think they want to play, and the fans want to see it, and the players have a lot at stake, including possibly playing in the NFL. You have a lot of great players in this conference.
“We had a very good, very productive conversation, and maybe we’ll be very pleasantly surprised. They closed it, and I think they would love to see it open, along with a lot of other football that is playing well. now. ”
In a previous Tweet on Tuesday, Trump said the Big Ten’s return plans were at the “one yard line!” A Big Ten official said there was still a lot of work to be done and stressed that league presidents and chancellors should approve all plans.
Sources told ESPN that several plans are being considered by the Big Ten Return-to-Play Task Force – with a potential start as early as possible in late November or early January, or later next spring.
A source at the conference told ESPN that no official comeback plan has yet been presented to university presidents and chancellors for approval. While Big Ten athletic directors and coaches would like to play as soon as possible, the source said college presidents need to be assured the league can alleviate their concerns about the unknown impact of COVID-19 on myocarditis, and that there must be a conference. Global testing protocol that ensures equal accessibility and sustainability on every campus.
While the end of November remains a legitimate option to consider, the actual return of the Big Ten will depend on how quickly athletic directors and medical advisory groups can present a plan to presidents that will make them more comfortable with the risks involved. playing. the coronavirus pandemic.
Citing the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Big Ten on August 11 became the first 5 Five conference to postpone football and other fall sports in hopes of playing in the spring. The Pac-12 announced that it is also pushing fall sports back to spring hours after the Big Ten’s decision.
The other Power Five conferences – the ACC, the Big 12, and the SEC – still plan to play football this fall.
A spokesperson for Pac-12 told ESPN on Tuesday that White House officials had not contacted Commissioner Larry Scott.
On Monday, the Big Ten admitted that its presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone the fall season, and multiple sources told ESPN that Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State were the three schools that voted against the postponement of the season. The league said the vote was taken “for the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes”.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich contributed to this story.