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Trump declares 'I brought back Big Ten football' during debate

Trump declares 'I brought back Big Ten football' during debate
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President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE declared that he “brought back Big Ten football” during Tuesday’s contentious presidential debate in Cleveland.

During a segment devoted to discussing the economy during and after the pandemic, the president took credit for the Big Ten Conference’s decision to resume the fall college football season after originally postponing all sports due to the coronavirus.

“I’m the one who brought back football,” Trump said. “By the way, I brought back Big Ten football. It was me, and I'm very happy to do it and the people of Ohio are very proud of me.”

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Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Manchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Overnight Energy: 5 takeaways from the Colonial Pipeline attack | Colonial aims to 'substantially' restore pipeline operations by end of week | Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE laughed during the president’s comments as moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' House Republican: Cheney has 'failed' GOP conference Facebook oversight board member on Capitol rioters: Trump was 'egging them on' MORE attempted to redirect the conversation back to the candidates’ economic plans.

The Big Ten reversed course earlier this month and unanimously decided it would start a nine-week season in late October.

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Trump has repeatedly praised the decision, including the day of the Big Ten’s announcement, claiming he had played a part.

"Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK,” he posted on Twitter. “All teams participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped." 

It has been unclear whether and how Trump helped in the decisionmaking, with one person with knowledge of the discussions between the White House and the conference telling USA Today that the Big Ten never asked for or accepted resources from the White House. 

Like several other NCAA conferences, the Big Ten initially delayed its football season in August, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic. Big Ten officials attributed the change in decision to the conference’s medical advisory board.