As I'm sure you are aware, the Big Ten is not playing football this fall. It stinks for everybody involved. The fans, the players, the coaches, etc.
Most schools have taken this news and started to adapt to a football-less 2020. Nebraska isn't most schools. The relatively new Big Ten conference member has made it incredibly clear that they want to play football this fall. That's news to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren:
SOURCE-“No,” he said, firmly. “Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”
Warren’s concise Nebraska rebuttal is a nice window into the bottom line he used to help guide the decision that may ultimately define his career as Big Ten commissioner. He politely told Nebraska that if it goes rogue, it can pack it where the corn doesn’t husk. And the league would be happy to keep its $50 million cut and share it with those who play nice.
In other words....Nebraska? SHUT UP AND OBEY....or we will take ALL of your money.
I get why Kevin Warren is taking this stance. If Nebraska is allowed to play, then why can't every other team play? You must lay down the law as the commissioner and stand by the ruling you just laid down.
This does feel a bit of a power grab, though. Yes, Nebraska is a part of the Big Ten, but in a weird year like 2020 is, why should their conference have the power to stop them from playing their own season? When you join a conference do they control everything you do? I guess so.
Playing this fall for Nebraska would be difficult. The biggest issue for schools is the long term risk of having players play during the unknown of COVID-19. Opening yourself to a massive class-action lawsuit 20-25 years down the line is not something any school's risk management office will be advocating for. I'm not even sure a waiver would absolve their risk. I could obviously be wrong though, I'm the furthest thing from a lawyer.
It will be interesting to see how Nebraska handles this. I do not see why they would want to leave the Big Ten, but if they do, this would be the opportunity to do so.