When you come from a state that has a population of only 1.9 million and no pro franchises, there’s minimal options to take pride in when it comes to sports.
In Nebraska College football is king and always will be. There’s no denying the COVID-19 pandemic cost the state of Nebraska dearly this year. The cancellation of the Men’s NCAA Tournament, College World Series, Olympic swim trials and Big Ten football brought the state to its’ knees.
Husker football is at the top of the food chain in Nebraska and everyone feeds off the program. So when Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren made the unprecedented decision of shutting down fall sports back in August, it had a huge domino effect.
That’s when Nebraska Coach Scott Frost took the podium and expressed the program’s concerns over the cancelled season. His words rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and they thought it was an arrogant move. Even ESPN analyst Desmond Howard said the Big Ten should kick Nebraska out of the conference. Warren made it clear the Huskers would no longer be a Big Ten member if they pursued football elsewhere.
Nebraska President Ted Carter even reneged on Frost’s statements and put to rest all the rumors of the program wanting to leave the Big Ten. However, that’s when all the fun started. Eight of Nebraska’s players sued the Big Ten, requesting an order from the league’s decision to not play football.
Garrett Snodgrass, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper, Noa Pola Gates, Alante Brown, Brant Banks, Brig Banks and Jackson Hannah all seeked damages of less than $75,000 and for the fall season to be restored. That forced the Big Ten’s hand and the initial start to getting the season back in place.
Several fans and parents of players even called for Warren’s job, believing he mishandled the entire situation and was playing into politics. The conversation Warren later had with President Donald Trump two weeks ago was arguably the straw that broke the camel’s back.
After a sound bite caught Carter and Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie D. Green talking about the Big Ten season being restored Tuesday, College football fanatics anticipated the huge announcement. As of Wednesday the Big Ten season is back on the slate and scheduled to kickoff October 23-24. The decision is arguably one of the biggest moves in sports history and spares the league a billion worth of dollars in lost revenue.
It’s going to be huge for the state of Nebraska, with thousands of jobs being restored. Now Husker Nation has a reason to be excited again. It remains to be seen on who the credit should go to though. Frost, President Trump, the parents or the lawsuits. It was most likely a team effort, but Husker Nation will look at Frost as a hero who started the process. Regardless of the matter, the Big Ten is back in a major way and now there’s some credibility behind the 2020 season.