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Nebraska Coach: Not Ruling Out Possibility Of Playing Season Outside Big Ten

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMPER 20: Nebraska Cornhusker helmets before their game at Memorial Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Miami 41-31. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With the Big Ten Conference reportedly set to cancel its football season, one member of the 14-team league isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet.

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost addressed the media on Zoom Monday and made it clear the Cornhuskers want to play football this fall. Even if that involves a season without its Big Ten conference mates.

“We certainly want to play football,” Frost said. “We want to play a Big Ten schedule. I hope that’s what happens. Our university is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is. So we will see how those chips fall. We certainly hope it’s in the Big Ten, if it isn’t, I think we’re prepared to look at other options.”

National radio host Dan Patrick reported on Monday that he was hearing the Big Ten was set to cancel the season with two Big Ten programs, Nebraska and Iowa, wanting to play. The Detroit Free-Press published a report that the Big Ten was headed towards cancellation of the fall season.

Coaches from prominent Big Ten programs have since voiced their desire to play this season. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Penn State’s James Franklin, and Frost have all used their platforms in support of football being played this fall.

“If we send kids home, they’re going to be in closer contact with a lot of family members and other people that might be at higher risk for coronavirus than if we keep them here in an environment, where they’re around other healthy, young people,” Frost said. “If I had a son, I would want him playing football. I think this is the safest place we could be, and a lot of schools around the conference probably feel the same way, that the safest environment we can put these guys in is an environment where they’re being monitored constantly, being screened, being tested, being taken care of [and] being protected if they do get sick.

“I’m passionate about this because our guys want to play. I’m proud of who they are and the decisions they’ve made. I think it’s our responsibility to make sure they respect this virus. I’m not a doctor and I don’t understand a lot of these things. The medical experts that we’re leaning on are the ones that are guiding our decisions.”

A former National Champion quarterback at Nebraska, Frost said to “skip past” potential financial ramifications if college football isn’t played this fall. But Frost noted the University of Nebraska athletic department could lose 80-$120 million, the city of Lincoln, Nebraska could lose upwards $300 million, and the state of Nebraska “100s of millions.”

Nebraska was a former member of the Big 12 Conference prior to joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011. So instantly after Frost’s comments about exploring all options for a season, speculation has grown that the Cornhuskers could play in their former home. It’s just a rumor at this point, but if the Big Ten doesn’t go forward with a season and the Huskers go at it alone, anything could be on the table.

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