Trump hails announced return of Big Ten football
President Trump on Wednesday hailed the Big Ten Conference’s announcement that football will resume next month after the start of the season was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. All teams to participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON!” Trump tweeted.
“It is my great honor to have helped!!!” the president added, though it’s unclear what role, if any, he played in the conference’s reversal.
Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK. All teams to participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2020
Trump has for weeks called for the Big Ten to play football, though the conference’s official announcement on Wednesday made no mention of the president and it’s unclear if Trump spoke to university presidents, who made the final decision.
He has instead largely blamed governors in Michigan and Maryland, among others, for standing in the way of football, even though the final decision rests with the universities.
The president’s focus on the Big Ten is a nod to the electoral importance of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which have schools that compete in the conference. He has been noticeably quieter about the Pac-12 Conference, which hosts schools from California, Washington and Oregon, among other states, postponing its season.
The Big Ten season will resume the weekend of Oct. 23, the conference said in a statement, after a unanimous vote from school presidents and chancellors. Players will be tested daily for COVID-19, and any student-athletes who test positive must remain out of competition for 21 days.