LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska did not mince words when first-year Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren announced on Tuesday that the conference was cancelling all athletic activities this Fall.
“We’re very disappointed with the [Big Ten’s] decision,” the university said in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon. “We hope it may be possible for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete,” the statement went on, being purposely vague to start a bidding war between the conferences who have not counted out playing sports this upcoming Fall (the ACC, Big 12, and SEC).
But, similar to the friend referenced when a man comes out of nowhere to tell you that, “his friend over there thinks you’re cute,” or your friend who’s not looking for anything serious, just kids in the next 3 years, suitors were not exactly lining up to welcome Nebraska into their conference. What’s more, Commissioner Warren made it abundantly clear that Nebraska would no longer be a part of the conference should they decide to take their talents (or lack thereof) south.
“No,” said Warren when asked specifically by Yahoo Sports if Nebraska could play college football this fall, “Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”
To the nearly 2 million Nebraskans who make up the state’s population, the news came as a crushing blow to a state who does not have much in the form of in-person entertainment other than the College World Series, which was also cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
But to college football fans around the rest of the US, the news came as a shock. Not because Nebraska entertained the thought that they could compete in the SEC, but because people largely forgot they were playing football altogether.
“I’m gonna be honest, my jaw dropped,” said Scott Bauer, a displaced Penn State fan and graduate now living in Boston. “I mean, the Big Ten West goes pretty forgotten anyway, but I genuinely completely forgot that not only are they a part of the Big Ten, but that they had a football team at all out there. What’s next, you’re gonna tell me Rutgers has a program too?”
“Gone are the days of Tom Osborne, championships, and his morally reprehensible coaching standards,” commented Kirk Herbstreit, whose eyes were so blue that my hands got sweaty and made me drop my phone. “I give them credit, it got their name out there in the same sentence as some major players, but I think they should be pretty grateful that they have an excuse not to play football this year.”
“I admired the move,” long-time Nebraska Football booster and Berkshire-Hathaway executive director Beau Samson said. “I think it shows the country we’re ready to play anyone, anywhere, anytime. There’s an old expression, ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have,’ and if we’re going to be taken seriously on the big stage again, we’ve gotta show everyone we still have the fire and competitive spirit we used to have back in the day,” he continued, now making it clear as to why he was wearing a spacesuit.
Nebraska has since apologized to the Big Ten for stepping out of line, and as of this point, has no plans to play any sports this Fall.