Reports of a potentially canceled football season for the Big Ten Conference were running a muck yesterday after the Detroit Free Press broke a story that said the Big Ten Presidents had voted 12-2 against playing in the fall of 2020. Polarizing comments came from both sides of those in favor or against the decision and it was later refuted by multiple reports. Nonetheless, the season is still very much in jeopardy for the Big Ten and for several other Power 5 conferences as the MAC and Mountain West Conference each decided to postpone the season to the Spring.
A similar decision could still be made this week by the Big Ten as Kirk Herbstreit reported on Monday evening that:
To be clear regarding @B1Gfootball and their impending announcement-they are looking TO DELAY the start of the season NOT TO CANCEL.— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) August 10, 2020
With that being said, several players, staff, and members of the Michigan community voiced their opinions, and for some, their outrage at the situation. Only amplified by the fact that Michigan Athletics has done an outstanding job with their COVID-19 protocols.
Most notably, Jim Harbaugh took to Twitter to voice his frustrations and provide facts on the Wolverines testing and safety measures, welcoming others to come and observe how there has been much success in Ann Arbor with a long note:
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh released a statement on why he’s advocating they play football this season citing recent numbers and protocols followed pic.twitter.com/8SBHPlSlQv— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) August 10, 2020
One of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball, junior Aidan Hutchinson also praised how safe he feels in Ann Arbor:
Coach Harbaugh and the staff have implemented the best possible protocols in order for us to stay healthy. The results support my claim. The athletes deserve a voice in this life-changing decision regarding the season. #WEWANTTOPLAY— Aidan Hutchinson (@aidanhutch97) August 10, 2020
Hutchinson’s father, and former Michigan football player turned emergency room doctor, Chris Hutchinson also backed Harbaugh and his son’s notions:
I support Aidan, not only as his father but as an ER doc who has lived through some of the worst Covid in the country. I support them playing as the protocols at the University of Michigan have proven to work. I feel my son is in the safest program and conference in the country.— Chris Hutchinson (@chutch97) August 10, 2020
Director of recruiting Matty Dudek supported his head coach with a Twitter post of his own:
FACTS NOT FEAR...by doing the right things, holding others accountable to do the right things and listening to experts we can do this! Coach has been incredible in making sure the guys are safe and I’m so happy to be apart of this staff leading the way! https://t.co/sVW6E6XAFp— Matty Dudek (@Thee_Matty_D) August 10, 2020
Tight end coach Sherrone Moore also expressed admiration for the Michigan community throughout this process:
Coach has developed the best protocol with our team, staff and football family. Since we have been back his only mission was to keep players safe. True players coach!! #WeWanttoCoach #WeWanttoPlay #GoBlue 〽️ https://t.co/esM9yrdNeL— Sherrone Moore (@Coach_SMoore) August 10, 2020
Lisa McCaffrey, mother of potential starting quarterback at U of M, Dylan McCaffrey, complimented the Wolverines and said she was fully comfortable having her child play at their facilities:
Junior defensive back Hunter Reynolds had several comments, including a shot at the President that quickly went viral:
#WeWantToPlay and not just P5 football players. There are athletes in other conferences and other sports who put in just as much effort and deserve to have as safe a season as possible‼️— Hunter Reynolds (@hunt_xxvii) August 10, 2020
If you actually took this virus seriously months ago we wouldn’t even be in this situation.., https://t.co/l4hXVlYoKk— Hunter Reynolds (@hunt_xxvii) August 10, 2020
Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis joined the #WeWantToCoach movement that echoes a similar mantra:
#WEWANTTOCOACH— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) August 10, 2020
Our medical protocol is the standard. The environment we provide is the safest environment physically, mentally, and emotionally for our players! We don’t just coach, We sacrifice, We raise, We protect, and We serve for these young men opportunities of their life! https://t.co/RabBhYJfO8
Freshman cornerback Andre Seldon ended the evening with a positive note on the matter:
football not over....— 0 (@AndreSeldonjr) August 11, 2020
Football may not be over, but neither are the discussion about canceling it. Reports are in that the Big Ten athletic directors are planning to meet on Tuesday to further discuss the season that is in jeopardy. No matter what ends up happening, these players and coaches took their chance and voiced their opinion about the 2020 season. Hopefully for all of us their comments will not be in vain.