President Donald Trump on Sunday suggested the Big Ten Conference could move forward with its college football season without three major schools because the governors of those states are standing in their way.
“Big Ten Football is looking really good, but may lose Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland because of those Governors’ ridiculous lack of interest or political support,” Trump tweeted. “They will play without them?”
The president earlier this week called Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren to inquire what resources the conference would need in order to play in the fall.
“Had a very productive conversation with Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, about immediately starting up Big Ten football,” Trump tweeted last week. “Would be good (great!) for everyone - Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line!”
Eleven schools in the conference voted to postpone the football season due to the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 31, nearly three weeks after the Big Ten announced it would move its football season to the spring semester because of health risks associated with the virus.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has urged for the season to go on as scheduled.
“I would like to address the rumors that are swirling today,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players desire to play, but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on June 13.”
Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat governor of Michigan, has had some of the strictest shutdown laws in the nation.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is a Republican, though he’s sparred with Trump amid the pandemic, and Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker is a Democrat.
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