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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 TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism 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 BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE laughed during the president’s comments as moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: This was best inaugural address I've ever heard Fox News's DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire Arkansas governor: Intelligence on state capitol protests 'not to the level that I'm bringing out the National Guard' 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.