President Donald Trump believes the Big Ten is getting closer to a return to football.
But Michigan and Michigan State might not be part of it, and he blamed a familiar face: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, along with governors from Illinois and Maryland.
He tweeted Sunday morning:
“Big Ten Football is looking really good, but may lose Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland because of those Governors’ ridiculous lack of interest or political support. They will play without them?”
[ The Big Ten has become a ridiculous soap opera since canceling football ]
This is the second time in a week Trump has tweeted about the sport.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted he had spoken with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren to discuss the possibility of an immediate restart.
“On the one yard line!” the President proclaimed in a tweet.
The Free Press reported last week the notion of the Big Ten reversing course on its Aug. 11 decree that postponed fall sports indefinitely invited scoffs and derisive remarks by some university power brokers with firsthand knowledge of those decisions.
“Laughable,” one told the Free Press on condition of anonymity.
“(Expletive) no,” another said.
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Eleven of the Big Ten’s 14 member schools voted last month in favor of the shutdown after weighing the medical risks and potential liability of playing football during a public health crisis against the financial hit that would accompany the demolition of the fall schedule.
Protests have ensued from parents to players to coaches, including Saturday in Ann Arbor. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in attendance, saying “Free the Big Ten.”
Trump saw an opportunity to lead resistance and unite rivals to coalesce for one common cause in an important political battleground with November’s looming election.
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Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan are all up for grabs and they’re in the heart of Big Ten country, where Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, moderates and extremists root for the Buckeyes, Badgers, Nittany Lions, Spartans and Wolverines.
Rainer Sabin contributed to this report.