Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren speaks following the cancellation of the men's basketball tournament due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 12, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images/TNS)

CHICAGO – President Donald Trump is diving headfirst into Big Ten football.

He tweeted this Tuesday: "Had a very productive conversation with Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference, about immediately starting up Big Ten football. Would be good (great!) for everyone – Players, Fans, Country. On the one yard line!"

The reaction?

A Big Ten football coach texted "Major Wow!!!!!!" to the Chicago Tribune.

The Big Ten confirmed the call in a statement, saying a "White House representative" reached out to Warren on Monday to facilitate a call between him and Trump.

Warren and Trump had "a productive conversation," according to the statement, which concludes: "The Big Ten Conference and its Return to Competition Task Force ... 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."

When is "the appropriate time"?

Conference coaches are now pushing for a new schedule: Sources say an 8-9 game schedule beginning in January or on the final weekend of December is the most likely. The other options being discussed by coaches and athletic directors is a season that starts around Thanksgiving and a spring slate.

With the Big 12, SEC and ACC are plowing ahead with football, Big Ten coaches are also asking if it's feasible to return to the field before November – as in, as soon as possible.

This is Trump's second tweet on Big Ten football.

His first, from Friday: "No, I want Big Ten, and all other football, back – NOW. The Dems don't want football back, for political reasons, but are trying to blame me and the Republicans. Another LIE, but this is what we are up against! They should also open up all of their Shutdown States."

Warren said on Aug. 18 that the decision to scrap fall football "would not be revisited."

And as revealed Monday, Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to cancel or at least push back the season, with Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa dissenting, according to sources.


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