Warren, Trump discuss Big Ten football season

President Donald Trump touted a productive phone call with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren, continuing his mission to get the conference to return to the field this season.

“Had a very productive conversation with Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, about immediately starting up Big Ten football,” Trump said in a tweet. “Would be good (great!) for everyone – Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line!”

President Trump “pushing very hard”

Trump, who called for the Big Ten to play football in a tweet Sunday, expanded on his latest Twitter post in comments to pool reporters before boarding Air Force One to travel to Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Donald Trump
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

“I think it was very productive about getting Big Ten playing again, immediately,” Trump said. “Let’s see what happens. (Warren is) a great guy, it’s a great conference. Tremendous teams. We’re pushing very hard.”

The Big Ten released a statement confirming the phone call between Warren and the president.

“A White House representative reached out to Big Ten Conference commissioner Kevin Warren on Monday, August 31, 2020 to facilitate a phone call between President Donald J. Trump and Commissioner Warren,” the Big Ten said in a statement. “On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Commissioner Warren and the President had a productive conversation.

“The Big Ten Conference and its Return to Competition Task Force, on behalf of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C), are exhausting every resource to help student athletes get back to playing the sports they love, at the appropriate time, in the safest and healthiest way possible.”


Report: Big Ten not close to playing

Meanwhile, USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported that the Big Ten isn’t close to a return.

Kevin Warren
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

“From the department of not shocked: The characterization of the Big Ten being on the 1-yard line to return to play “immediately,” as we saw in a Tweet earlier today, is not how the Big Ten views it, per source. Many, many hurdles to go.”

Big Ten coaches met Friday to discuss the possibilities for playing a shortened season starting around Thanksgiving. There is no timeline for a decision, but university presidents and athletic directors could determine their original verdict on the 2020 season will stand.

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and other conferences — including the Ivy League — postponed the 2020 football season with a plan to play an altered season in spring 2021.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)