Paul Finebaum reacts to the Big Ten's decision to cancel fall football: 'The timing of it makes no sense'
Why would the Big Ten cancel its fall football season less than a week after announcing the schedule for that very season?
Just like many of us, that’s a question Paul Finebaum is asking following the league’s decision to cancel fall football in the hopes of playing in the spring.
When asked why the Big Ten moved in this direction, league commissioner Kevin Warren simply stated the decision was based on the fact we are all currently living through a pandemic.
Here was Finebaum’s reaction to that comment during his most recent appearance on ESPN morning show “Get Up” on Wednesday.
“Well, what Kevin Warren just said, doesn’t work and we all know that we’re in a pandemic – we’ve been at a pandemic since March 11,” Finebaum said on the show. “I thought that was an inane answer and he does not – he said that because he doesn’t have a justification right now.
“I’m not advocating that anyone do anything that they don’t want to do, but there was simply no reason to shut down yesterday. And that’s why there is such chaos right now. And that’s another reason why the other three leagues I think are holding on for dear life. Whether it’s right or wrong, that will be determined later. They are taking advantage of the lack of direction that the Big Ten is going in.”
The SEC Network host then went a step further and shared his belief that the Big Ten came to the decision to cancel its fall football schedule back in early July.
“The Big Ten, I think, made this decision on July, 9, when they went ahead and broke ranks went rogue, and decided to have a conference-only season and then embarrassingly announced their schedule a couple of days ago,” Finebaum continued. “The bottom line is that the SEC is gaining traction, the Big 12 is gaining traction and the ACC is. I’m not saying gaining traction in anything other than perception, their fan base wants to see football and the Big Ten right now is devastated. In that, we all may end up at the very same place, but the timing of it makes no sense.”
So what’s the next hurdle the SEC, the ACC and the Big 12 need to clear to see the field in the fall?
According to Finebaum, everyone is waiting to see what happens once students return to campuses across the country.
“Most of the people with whom I speak say they are waiting and watching one thing in particular, and that’s going on right now, as you well know, you have a student — you have a daughter, who is a student — what happens when students get back on campus?” Finebaum asked. “They’re already back in a couple of places, in a week or two, they’ll be back in almost every place.
“That’s what they’re watching, and if you start getting serious outbreaks and president saying listen we can’t do this we have to shut down the campus, then you give cover to the rest of the commissioners. Then they say listen we tried, we did everything we could, we listened to our coaches, especially listened to our student-athletes and now, unfortunately, we have to go this route, but that’s not what’s happening in the big 10 and that’s why they are there is such anger there, and I think there could be a quite a loss of perception. Don’t forget there are a lot of recruits watching this right now, and you’re seeing a little bit of a defection from the Big Ten and I think you’ll see more in the coming days.”
Let’s all hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, at least the SEC, the ACC and the Big 12 can all say with a straight face they did everything they could to play in the fall. The Big Ten can’t say the same.