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Scott Frost says Nebraska ‘prepared to look at any and all options,’ including playing outside Big Ten
3:45 PM ET
  • Mark SchlabachESPN Senior Writer

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    • Senior college football writer
    • Author of seven books on college football
    • Graduate of the University of Georgia

Nebraska football coach Scott Frost said Monday that the Cornhuskers are prepared to play this upcoming season — even if it’s outside the Big Ten.

“We’re a proud member of the Big Ten,” Frost said during a Zoom teleconference with reporters. “We want to play a Big Ten schedule. I think the only reason we would look at any other options is if for some reason the Big Ten wasn’t playing and only a handful of teams from the Big Ten wanted to continue playing. I think if that’s the case, I think we’re prepared to look at any and all options.”

On Sunday, ESPN first reported that Big Ten presidents, following a meeting on Saturday, were ready to cancel the fall sports season, and they wanted to gauge whether commissioners and university presidents and chancellors from the other Power 5 conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — would fall in line with them.

Sources told ESPN that a vast majority of Big Ten presidents have indicated that they would vote to postpone the football season, hopefully to the spring. The Big Ten presidents met again Sunday night but didn’t vote and took no action, according to a league spokesman.

Nebraska president Walter E. Carter Jr. and athletic director Bill Moos couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

“I know where our university president stands, and he wants to play,” Frost said.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day also indicated on Twitter that he’s not done fighting to play this season.

Swinging as hard as we possibly can right now for these players!! This isn’t over! #FIGHT

— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) August 10, 2020

Speaking to reporters Monday, Day said he believes “we should certainly not cancel the season” given the flexibility that was put into the Big Ten schedule.

“We cannot cancel the season right now, we have to at the least postpone it and give us some time to keep reevaluating everything that is going on,” Day said of his message to the Big Ten conference committee. “That’s the reason why we put this schedule together to have some flexibility if we need to take a deep breath, let’s take a deep breath. Let’s do everything we can, we owe it to these kids to exhaust every possible option and go from there.”

Asked if the Buckeyes would be open to playing in another conference, Day replied, “We need to look at every option, and if that’s the only option at the time we will explore it. Because if that’s what it is and that’s what is best for our kids, then certainly we need to look at that and do it, but in the meantime there are a lot of other things that are gonna come up along the way that we think we can keep getting better at. This virus changes every day, we are learning about it, testing — testing is getting better every day.”

Penn State coach James Franklin expressed a similar sentiment about wanting to do what is best for his players, tweeting, “I love our players & believe it is my responsibility to help them chase their dreams, both collectively & individually. I am willing to fight WITH them & for our program!”

Frost, a former Nebraska quarterback, said being on campus was the safest place for his players to be.

“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 he 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.”

Nebraska estimates it would lose between $80 million and $120 million if the season isn’t played.

“The leadership at the University of Nebraska has been incredible,” Frost said. “The guys that I’ve worked with, from the governor to Ted Carter to [Nebraska chancellor] Ronnie Green, Bill Moos and others, we’re committed to play football at the University of Nebraska. I think our university is committed to playing football any way we possibly can, regardless of what anybody else does. I look forward to the opportunity to let our guys get on the field and show the progress they’ve made in a safe environment.”

Frost said he isn’t in favor of postponing the season to the spring because it would require his players to play two seasons in one calendar year.

“People need to understand the carnage and aftermath of what college athletics looks like if we don’t play,” Frost said.

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