One of the Big Ten's biggest stars has officially been cleared to return this fall, but another's career remains over.
Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who originally opted out of the college football season in August, has been cleared to play by the NCAA and will be back with the Gophers this fall, he and the school announced Wednesday.
Agent 0 checking in. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, Lets ROW pic.twitter.com/3VCdHSMKCR— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) September 30, 2020
Because Bateman had signed with an agent after he opted out, it was uncertain whether the NCAA would reinstate his eligibility for the fall season. But given the unusual circumstances that arose from the Big Ten initially canceling the fall season in August before announcing earlier this month that it would play beginning in October, Bateman was able to get his eligibility restored.
Bateman joins a group of Big Ten players that also includes Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis and cornerback Shaun Wade, Michigan right tackle Jalen Mayfield, Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth and Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore who have also opted back into playing this fall after previously deciding to opt out. Ohio State coach Ryan Day indicated Monday that Davis and Wade have both been cleared to play this fall, while Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Mayfield has also received a waiver from the NCAA.
One Big Ten player who will remain opted out, however, is Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said Wednesday that while “there was a legitimate possibility” that Parsons would return to play this fall, he ultimately decided to stick with his original plan to focus on his preparation for the 2021 NFL draft.
“That won’t be happening," Franklin said. “We understand the decision. Just like we were on the front end, we’re supportive of the decision.”
The loss of Parsons is a big hit for the Nittany Lions, an All-American who led the team in tackles in each of two seasons in State College and was widely considered the frontrunner to be this year's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.