Football Player Parents from 11 Big Ten Schools Call for Transparency, Parent Organization Forum and Return to Competition Plan in Joint Open Letter

By Dan Hope on August 26, 2020 at 9:55 am
Big Ten player parents

Parents of football players from 11 Big Ten schools have come together to write another open letter to commissioner Kevin Warren.

In a letter signed by “Big 10 Parents United” that was shared by both Nebraska's football parent group and Football Parents at Ohio State on Wednesday morning, the group of Big Ten parents wrote that they were “extremely disappointed” in the open letter released by Warren in response to previous letters written by separate Big Ten parent groups, and made three specific demands: Transparency about the conference's decision to postpone fall sports, a parent organization forum and a Return to Competition Task Force plan of action.

In the transparency section of the open letter, the parent group calls for “all documents, video recordings, communications, minutes of meetings related to the decision to cancel the fall sports season” to be released. The parent group is also demanding “a Parent Organization Forum that you can answer questions concerning the process, decisions, and moving forward,” and asks for more information about the conference's Return to Competition Task Force, including whether the task force will include players and parents in their decision-making process and what criteria they will use to determine whether there will be a season.

“This correspondence is intended to convey the total lack of confidence in the Big Ten Conference's leadership, specifically the lack of planning, collaboration and/or communication,” the letter states. “We completely understand that this pandemic is unprecedented and requires careful consideration. That said, it is extremely frustrating that the Big Ten has failed to properly communicate in a transparent manner. Our intention, at this point, is to provide a pathway forward to a successful 2020 Big Ten football season.”

The letter does not specify who all was involved in writing the letter. That said, the Nebraska football parents’ group has tweeted that it has been in communication with parents from Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Illinois, Penn State, Maryland and Northwestern in addition to Ohio State.

A group of 11 Nebraska parents has previously threatened to file a lawsuit against the Big Ten if it fails to produce documents related to the conference's decision to postpone the fall sports season. Shaun Wade's father Randy and parents of other Ohio State football players, meanwhile, are organizing a rally outside Ohio Stadium on Saturday at 11 a.m., after Randy Wade led a parents’ protest outside Big Ten headquarters last Friday.

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