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Nebraska Football

Purdue Coach Jeff Brohm Proposes Big Ten Schedule for Spring Football

August 13, 2020

What would football look like in the spring? Purdue coach Jeff Brohm provided a proposal on Thursday that hopes to answer just that for the Big Ten Conference. Shared with ESPN, Brohm outlines an eight-game season that begins Saturday, Feb. 27 and concludes with the Big Ten Championship in May.

The full proposal also accounts for the fall schedule, which would be altered as well. The Fall 2021 schedule would instead begin in October 2021 with only 10 games played and one bye week. Training camps, summer work periods and discretionary periods are all accounted for in both the spring and fall proposals.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day also had a proposal for the Big Ten, although his came during media availability on Wednesday.

Day’s idea would have the spring football season starting early in 2021, with the eight weeks concluding by the end of February.

Both are interesting proposals, but neither comes without a number of questions and concerns about the viability around making it work. First, if the ACC, Big 12 and SEC manage to play in 2020, it drastically changes the discussion. As of now, only the Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed fall sports for 2020 among the Power 5 conferences. 

The NCAA and Power 5 conferences would also have to determine what to do with both the early signing period in December and National Signing Day in February. Would the process need to be changed for one year to accomodate various schedules? Additionally, if a player signs in December and then enrolls early at a Big Ten program in January, would they be eligible to play right away with the spring schedule? 

As for eligibility, the question surrounds what the two seasons in one calendar year would mean. If a player participates in both spring and fall, is that considered two years of eligibility in one year? Is the spring season viewed as a full-equivalent for the postponed 2020 season, regardless of number of games played? If so, how would that affect transfers who would have to sit out for a season?

The NCAA provided a little clarity on Wednesday, saying that if a senior or fifth-year player cannot play 50% of their season due to COVID-19, they would be granted one additional year of eligibility.

While positive for the player, it does put a burden on programs who would have to extend scholarship limits. It may be as simple as increasing the number of scholarships for each team for a limited number of years.

For now, Brohm has started a conversation about what football might look like for the Big Ten in 2021. A lot of questions have yet to be answered—and a big one is what the ACC, Big 12 and SEC ultimately are able to do this fall—but at least it’s a start. 

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