Nebraska Nearly Schedules Non-Conference Game Against Chattanooga, Big Ten Shuts It Down

By 11W Staff on October 29, 2020 at 11:09 am
Nebraska is trying.
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska nearly had a replacement for Saturday's canceled game against Wisconsin, but the Big Ten shut it down.

Just a day after Wisconsin's COVID-19 outbreak led to the Badgers' shutting down football activities and canceling Saturday's game, the Huskers were reportedly close to a deal with FCS program Chattanooga to play in a replacement game this weekend, but the Big Ten voted to continue forbidding non-conference games this season.

Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos responded in a statement on Thursday in which they said their discussions were only with “teams that had already mandated stricter testing protocols than those implemented by the Big Ten” and that they “believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses.”

Ohio State coach Ryan Day made it clear that he agrees with that sentiment during his press conference on Thursday afternoon, in which he said he believed Nebraska should have been able to play a non-conference game this weekend.

“I know that they worked really hard to try to get another game, which I thought that they should have had the opportunity to play,” Day said. “Scott (Frost)’s worked really hard with that team, and they’ve made a lot of sacrifices, so to not have the opportunity to play, for them, I really feel bad for those guys ... I thought based on the testing and what they had an opportunity to do, that they should have had an opportunity to do that.”

“It’s hard to swallow. You look at your players and your coaches, all the sacrifices that have been made, and they don’t have a game this week. And they didn’t do anything wrong. That’s really hard. And I know it’s the pandemic, and so you have to chalk it up to 2020, but when you’re the head coach like Scott is and you gotta look at your players and say, ‘We’re not playing, even though we did everything right,’ that’s hard to swallow. So I really feel for those guys right now.”

Day also said he feels “really awful for Paul (Chryst) and for his team and his staff and his players” that Wisconsin's football team has been hit by a COVID-19 outbreak, which prompted the cancellation of Saturday's Wisconsin/Nebraska game.

“It’s just such a contagious, crazy virus,” Day said. “Certainly, our thoughts are with them.”

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