Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said Tuesday he wants unity among the 14 league members.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost one day earlier said his school is committed to playing football this fall with or without the conference.
Something, eventually, is going to have to give after the Big Ten on Tuesday afternoon postponed its fall football season and left open the possibility for the spring.
Rewind one day, briefly. In a fiery news conference, Frost said he and NU plan on playing this fall, regardless of what happened at the league level.
"We're a proud member of the Big Ten. I think it's the best conference in the country. We want to play a Big Ten schedule," Frost said. "I think our university is committed to playing football any way we possibly can, regardless of what anybody else does. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to get our guys on the field and let them show the progress they’ve made in a safe environment. …
“Our university is committed to playing no matter what. No matter what that looks like. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is. So we’ll see how those chips fall. We certainly hope it's in the Big Ten, but if it isn't, we're prepared to look for other options."
Ohio State coach Ryan Day also said Monday that the Buckeyes would consider looking outside the Big Ten for opponents. On Tuesday, however, OSU athletic director Gene Smith told Letterman Row that his program would not be pursuing games this fall.
Hours after announcing the league's decision to postpone, Warren told Yahoo! Sports the Huskers cannot play games this fall. "No. Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference," he said.
Earlier in the day, he was asked the same question directly during an appearance on Big Ten Network following the league's decision to postpone.
"I know there were many statements that were made yesterday," Warren said. "There were many interviews that were done yesterday. I'm sure there are going to be many other statements made today and in the future. But I just take those statements as really a point of passion and supporting and representing their universities and their student-athletes. I understand that, but as I sit here today, there are 14 institutions in the Big Ten Conference and we have been together. I plan for us to continually be together and work collectively to make sure that we're doing everything that we possibly can to make sure that we keep our conference very strong academically and very strong athletically. I understand the passion. I understand that many things that have been said, and I can respect the many things that will be said."
Got all that? BTN host Dave Revsine pushed Warren on, specifically, whether a team can pursue an independent schedule.
"I know what was said and these are things — I'm sure there will be a lot of other issues that will arise and will be raised that will be addressed at the appropriate time, and this is not the appropriate day to do that," Warren said.
So, what happens from here remains to be seen. Nebraska has already loosely been in contact with teams about potentially playing this fall. There is an open question, of course, about how many teams in college football will end up playing, period, after the Pac-12, Mountain West and other conferences have also already postponed.
If they pursue any of them now, it will be in direct defiance of the league's commissioner.
Here's what people, including Nebraska players, are saying about the Big Ten's decision to postpone fall sports
Omar Manning, Nebraska WR
smh— “BOOBIE” (@TheOmarManning) August 11, 2020
Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska DB
Wow.— Cam Juice🧃™️ (@CamTaylorBritt5) August 11, 2020
Luke Gifford, former Nebraska LB
Cade Mueller, Nebraska long snapper
Honestly, if we did a red vs. white scrimmage every week for the fall I wouldn’t care...I just want to play— Cade Mueller (@CadeMueller55) August 11, 2020
Latrell Neville, Nebraska commit
William Przystup, Nebraska P
Niko Cooper, Nebraska OLB
Zach Weinmaster, Nebraska RB
Joel Klatt, Fox Sports
I believe that these players deserve to see the medical evidence that drove this decision...how and why is it different from what other conferences are hearing?— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) August 11, 2020
Justin Fields, Ohio State QB
Smh..— Justin Fields (@justnfields) August 11, 2020
Nouredin Nouili, Nebraska OL
Tim Brando, Fox Sports
Jeremiah Sirles, Former Nebraska OL
Noah Stafursky. Nebraska OL
This is a cowardly move. The guys behind the desks make a anti player move yet again. When do we get a voice? Why is it just “well let’s try” when it comes to school and work? We want to play and we want to play in the fall. #LetUsPlay pic.twitter.com/UhIqMLrg1y— Noah Stafursky (@noahdukes19) August 11, 2020
Adam Kramer, Bleacher Report
They released a schedule like seven hours ago. To postpone that quickly after the fact is truly a shocking lack of vision and clearly massive communication issues.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) August 11, 2020
Steven M. Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star
Clay Travis, Outkick
The Big Ten is a disaster. And spring isn’t happening. Feel bad for Big Ten fans.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 11, 2020
Matt Schick, ESPN
Hard to fathom what is happening. I feel so bad for the players, many of whom build their lives and futures around the game. So brutal. 2020 can go jump off a cliff.— Matt Schick (@ESPN_Schick) August 11, 2020
Benjamin Allbright, KOA Colorado
Nebraska has entered the transfer portal.— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) August 11, 2020
Marty Smith, ESPN
A staff member from a prominent Big 10 program just told me he is "pissed. Sad. Speechless. Shocked. All mixed into one." Says the players are devastated.— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) August 11, 2020
Contact the writer at email@example.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.