The Big Ten’s decision to postpone its fall football season has dominated the national sports conversation since Tuesday afternoon, and not everybody is excited about Nebraska’s response.
NU was the only of 14 conference schools to openly disagree with the decision. Some others lamented it, but said they were on board with the Big Ten’s ultimate move to forgo football this fall. Not Nebraska, they were “very disappointed,” and reiterated coach Scott Frost’s Monday assertion that the Huskers might look for games to play this fall.
That prompted commissioner Kevin Warren to tell Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday night that NU cannot do that and remain a member of the Big Ten.
Some talking heads went a step further.
“You know what I hope somebody on that call said to Nebraska’s representatives, even its president? ‘Get the hell out. If you want to turn and tuck tail after you received $52 million of guaranteed TV money every year, then go. Go somewhere else,'” “Pardon the Interruption” co-host Michael Wilbon said Tuesday afternoon. “What an inflated sense of self the Nebraska football program has. They haven’t done a damn thing in like a decade or more. They’ve done nothing. And now they want to tuck tail? I hope somebody said, ‘Get out.’ I understand the football coaches want to play and the players want to play. I want to see them play.
“But the presidents have to exert something, exercise something we haven’t seen much of in the country when it comes to the pandemic and that is leadership. That’s what they’ve done. I know it pains them, but if you can kick it down the road a little bit, maybe the country will be in a little bit better place and we can have football in the spring.”
He had more.
“I applaud the presidents for not listening to the likes of the people at Nebraska, a school that does the biggest whining. You know what? The Big Ten has operated for 116 years, most of them damn successful without Nebraska, which has been around for the last nine,” Wilbon said.
On Wednesday morning, ESPN personality Desmond Howard gave his thoughts.
“I have a bitter taste in my mouth about that whole thing,” the former Heisman Trophy winner at Michigan said. “I think it’s greatly disrespectful to the new commissioner, Kevin Warren. I know Scott Frost said that a couple days ago, but then to have the chancellor and the president of the university back him up? I think it’s extremely disrespectful not only to Kevin Warren, but to the other presidents of the university and all the other teams.
“Do you think that they’re the only team that really wants to play? Of course not. All the teams and all the coaches want to play, but they’re not whining and crying and then talking about leaving the conference. At this point, I would demand an apology from the chancellor and the president and Scott Frost, and not one from behind closed doors. A public apology.”
To be clear, nobody at Nebraska has publicly discussed leaving the Big Ten. Howard, though, wasn’t done.
“Or, if I’m Kevin Warren right now, I’m working on a way to get their ass out of the Big Ten. They don’t bring that much that they need to be the only group that’s sitting out here not only criticize the decision, but saying they want to leave the conference to play someone. They ain’t Notre Dame, baby. They ain’t got their own TV contract. They can’t run independent like that. They don’t have that cache.”
The takes, certainly, are hot.
Contact the writer at email@example.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.
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