Legislators Call For Big Ten To Reverse Decision On Postponement Of Fall Sports

By September 10, 2020 (10:00 am)Football, Joe Dempsey
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State senate and house of representatives leaders from six Midwest states continue to urge the Big Ten to undo postponing the season and get the student-athletes back into competition. 

Michigan Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey (R-Jackson) sent a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and the 14 university presidents from the conference’s schools to overturn the decision to postpone the fall sports season.

“The Big Ten’s current direction is the wrong choice for the conference, for our area universities, and – worst of all – for thousands of our local students,” Chatfield said in a statement. “As a former student-athlete, a teacher, a coach, an athletic director, and now as a parent, I know how important sports can be to young people and their development. I also know how much support restarting football and other fall sports has among players, coaches, parents, and the many people who have reached out to our offices demanding a change. 

“The Big Ten should reverse course as soon as possible and do everything possible to help their students restart extracurricular activities safely.”

The letter by Chatfield and Shirkey featured co-signatures from eight fellow Republicans in five other states: Pat Grassley (Iowa House speaker), Jack Whitver (Iowa Senate leader), Kurt Daudt (Minnesota House Republican leader), Paul Gazelka (Minnesota Senate leader), Matt Huffman (Ohio Senate leader), Bryan Cutler (Pennsylvania House speaker), Robin Vos (Wisconsin House speaker) and Scott Fitzgerald (Wisconsin Senate leader).

In the letter, the representatives cited conversations with student-athletes, parents and coaches in the seven Big Ten schools in their states – Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin – about the conference’s decision to postpone all fall sports due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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