Report: Michigan President Stands in Way of Big Ten Football This Fall


College football players will suit up and play games across the country tomorrow, but not any in the Big Ten. The fall football restart vote that was reportedly going to happen today, never came to fruition. Instead, it was a mysteriously quiet day inside of Big Ten headquarters.

There still seems to be a quiet optimism floating around fan bases and reporting outlets, though. Sure, the chancellor vote never took place, but Friday hardly seems like a strict deadline to get things rolling. On top of that, we are starting to see more information leak about what is happening behind the scenes.

Michigan Doesn’t Want to Play Football?

One of the more interesting developments just dropped out of Sports Illustrated’s Michigan Wolverines outlet, “Wolverine Digest”. They are reporting that the Big Ten’s biggest obstacle to playing games this fall, is University of Michigan President, Mark Schlissel.

A Little Birdie tells me University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel is one of the biggest remaining obstacles to the return of Big Ten football this fall. To the point he’s threatening to have Michigan sit out even if the Big Ten votes to go in October, denying the Big Ten its signature game.

Steve Deace – Wolverine Digest (SI)

No!!!! Not the Ohio State v Michigan football game…. anything but that!

Fuck the Michigan, if that’s how their Pres wants to politically play with the hearts of players and fans. According to SI, while President Schlissel is an immunologist and should be someone that other Big Ten presidents can rely on during this time… his decision making doesn’t seem to be driven by how dangerous the virus is.

As an immunologist, Schlissel should be one of the most uniquely qualified presidents/chancellors to opine on playing this season, but he has offered no public specifics about his apparent concerns as the sport ramps up across the Big Ten footprint at the high school and pro level. Neither did he visit the football program one time this summer to see for himself how the players were being kept safe and honoring protocols, but he does appear willing to use the power of the Michigan football brand as leverage to suit his desires here.

Steve Deace – Wolverine Digest (SI)

Michigan Football Protest on Saturday

This news drops just before Saturday, when Michigan football parents have a planned a protest outside of Michigan stadium. How big does the protest get? Michigan (the state) already ok’d a fall sports restart. How pissed off are fans and parents, that they still don’t have their Wolverines?

Coach Jim Harbaugh has been open about his desire to play ASAP, too. Could Jim, himself, show up to these protests? Or, are we looking at 10 parents yelling into a bullhorn? We’ll see how much pressure tomorrow brings.

Wolverine Digest also mentions September 12 as a big day for the Big Ten. That’s the deadline the conference has been given to turnover documents, in a lawsuit filed by Nebraska players.

This situation has gotten so sad, that some believe the PAC-12 could announce a return before the Big Ten. There is a new sense of life out west, after they found a partner to supply rapid saliva tests. Imagine the Corona Bros on the west coast, prepping for football before we are here in the midwest? Yikes.

Now What?

I still think we get October Big Ten football games. Of course, that depends on how this weekend goes. If other conferences play this weekend and they live to tell about it, pressure will only build within the B1G.

Every Big Ten football fan is sick of this stupid fall season rollercoaster… but there is still a light shining. That means the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Honestly, I feel better about a fall season tonight, than I have since it got canceled.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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