Big Ten Ordered to Produce All Documents Related to Vote, Full Conference Bylaws in Response to Nebraska Players’ Lawsuit

By Dan Hope on September 2, 2020 at 8:23 pm
Big Ten headquarters

The Big Ten has been ordered to provide more documents to prove whether or not an official vote was taken to postpone the fall football season.

In response to the lawsuit filed last week by eight Nebraska football players against the Big Ten, Lancaster County District Court judge Susan Strong has “ordered the Big Ten conference to produce more information and documents regarding the ‘vote,’ as well as the governing documents related to the decision-making process.”

The Big Ten has been given until Sept. 12 to produce responsive documents.

Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald provided more details on what the Big Ten will – and won't – be required to provide to the court as a result of the order:

The Big Ten must produce all documents reflecting whether an official vote was taken on the decision, including the official tally but not including how individual members voted. It must also reveal in full its governing documents and bylaws — it submitted 13 pages of bylaws to the court last week but redacted more than 11 full pages.


Not all of the player requests were granted in the order. Meeting minutes, including audio and video recordings and transcripts, are not included in the order to produce. Players also asked for all medical assessments, studies and data between July 1 and Aug. 12 — the day after the postponement announcement came down — that went into the decision to postpone. Judge Susan Strong, in her order, said that request was “potentially burdensome.”

The Big Ten already revealed that its presidents voted 11-3 in favor of postponing fall sports in a brief provided to the court on Monday opposing the players’ motion for limited expedited discovery. The players and their attorneys, however, responded with a brief of their own that said “the Big Ten has chosen to dribble out limited, additional information so it can wrongly claim it has answered certain discovery and can continue to hide relevant information while claiming it is being ‘transparent.’”

With the judge ruling in the players' favor, the Big Ten will now have just 10 days – a discovery process that has been expedited due to its time-sensitive nature – to provide the documents ordered by the court. 

The judge's full order, obtained by Eleven Warriors through a public records request on Thursday, can be viewed below.

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