Coaches from the Big Ten powerhouse schools tweeted that they are fighting for their players, after reports that the conference will cancel the fall football season.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference already cancelled fall football and now the Big Ten is likely to do the same. Many fear it could lead to large conferences like the SEC to cancel as well.
University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban said he’s against cancelling the season.
He told ESPN, “Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2% positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of July. It’s a lot higher than that in society.”
President Donald Trump isn’t happy about cancelling the season either. He tweeted twice this afternoon.
In his first tweet he said, “The student athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled #WeWantToPlay.”
In another tweet he said, “Play College Football!”
Monday morning, the University of South Alabama’s Jags were back on the field sweating it out at practice, hoping to soon showcase their skills inside of their new Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Players felt optimistic about this season despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know everybody wants to play. Whether we will or not is still up in the air for us,” Brian Ankerson, an offensive linemen for USA, said.
The pandemic already cancelled South’s home opener against Grambling State University when the SWAC postponed its season until the spring.
Other conferences like the Sun Belt could make similar calls this week, which could determine the Jags’ future.
“We're going to keep taking it one day at a time,” USA Head Football Coach Steve Campbell said.
"We do hope for the best but plan for contingencies," USA Director of Athletics Joel Erdmann said.
College presidents in the Sun Belt have a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning. This topic will surely be part of the discussion.