The Big Ten Conference disclosed Monday that its president and chancellors did indeed vote on whether to cancel the 2020 fall football season, with 11 of the 14 in favor of the move.
The revelation was made in a brief submitted in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday by eight Nebraska football players seeking restoration of the fall season, and countered speculation that no vote was taken before the Big Ten announced on Aug. 11 that the schedule had been canceled because of uncertainty over the coronavirus.
- Penn State athletics VP Sandy Barbour says it’s ‘unclear’ whether Big Ten took a vote on canceling football season
- Reports: Big Ten committee discusses a 2020 football season starting Thanksgiving weekend or in January
- Parents of Penn State football players look for answers why Big Ten canceled season
The Chicago Tribune reported that the three dissenting votes came from Ohio State, Nebraska, and Iowa.
In a statement, the conference said the 11-3 decision by its council of presidents and chancellors “far exceeds the 60% threshold required by the Big Ten By-Laws.”
It also said the decision by presidents and chancellors “was based on the input of several medical and infectious disease experts in the best interest of the health and wellness of student-athletes and the surrounding communities among the 14 member institutions.”
The lawsuit, filed in Lincoln, Neb., said the Big Ten’s decision-making process was “flawed and ambiguous” and called into question whether a formal vote had been taken. The suit asked for expedited discovery but the conference asked the motion to be denied.
Confusion reigned after the Aug. 11 announcement to cancel the season.
Penn State vice president of athletics Sandy Barbour said she did not know “whether there was actually a vote.” University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel told Fox9 News in Minneapolis that there was “not a vote per se [but] a deliberative process where we came to a decision together.”