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Nebraska Football

President, Chancellor Say Nebraska Is 'Fully Committed' to Big Ten

August 13, 2020

Nebraska has reaffirmed its commitment to the Big Ten. Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green and President Ted Carter released a statement Thursday morning affirming the university's commitment to the Big Ten.

The statement comes after a tumultuous couple of days for Nebraska and the Big Ten. Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts later released his own statement, agreeing with Green and Carter, saying that the Big Ten “has certainly been great” for Nebraska.

Before the Big Ten Conference postponed fall sports, Scott Frost told the media that Nebraska was committed to playing a schedule in 2020. While he said the Huskers were proud members of the Big Ten, he also said they were “committed to playing football at the University of Nebraska.”

“We want to play no matter who it is or where it is,” Frost said on Monday. “We’ll see how those chips fall. We certainly hope it’s in the Big Ten. If it isn’t, I think we’re prepared to look for other options.”

After the conference’s cancellation of fall sports, Green, Carter, Frost and Athletic Director Bill Moos released a joint statement.

“We are very disappointed in the decision by the Big Ten Conference to postpone the fall football season, as we have been and continue to be ready to play,” the statement said. "Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute 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.”

While Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren didn’t immediately shoot down the idea of conference teams looking to play elsewhere for fall, he later told Yahoo Sports that it was not a possibility. When asked if Nebraska could play elsewhere, Warren was firm.

“No,” he said. “Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”

ESPN’s Mike Wilbon and Desmond Howard went on to criticize Nebraska’s desire to play football away from the Big Ten. Howard even went as far as to suggest the Big Ten should boot Nebraska from the conference.

“I would demand a public apology from Nebraska," Howard said during an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up!", "And if I’m (Big Ten commissioner) Kevin Warren, I’m working on a way to get their ass out of the Big Ten. They ain’t Notre Dame, baby. They don’t have that cachet.

"All the teams and coaches want to play but they're not whining and crying." 

Fans and media questioned the intentions on Wednesday after Ohio State coach Ryan Day shared a similar sentiment as Frost for the Buckeyes. Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith later said the Buckeyes would not explore the option to play elsewhere any further.

Nebraska may not play elsewhere this fall—although some have pointed out that Nebraska’s statement doesn’t directly say the program has stopped considering it—but the Big Ten is already starting to discuss possibilities to play and practice as early as January. A proposal from Purdue’s Jeff Brohm—released Thursday morning—would even teams playing an eight-game schedule starting Saturday, Feb. 27. Day proposed a start date for the first week of January.

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