The relationship between Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the Nebraska Huskers grew very sour this year. There was no program that pushed back against the short-lived cancellation of the 2020 Big Ten football season the way that Nebraska football did.
After the Big Ten originally cancelled the season in August, Nebraska looked to strike out on its own for the fall. When asked if the Huskers would be permitted to play the year as an independent, Warren gave the idea a very clear answer: “No… Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference.”
Eventually other schools like Ohio State and Iowa would back up Nebraska’s fervor, and the Big Ten would relaunch the season in late October. The eight games-in-eight weeks campaign, with no bye weeks or room to postpone games, wound up being very messy, and the league had to change rules on the fly to allow Ohio State into the conference title game. The Buckeyes are now slated to face Alabama in the national championship on Monday.
Nebraska football, meanwhile, went 3-5. The Huskers played what many deemed the league’s hardest schedule, something some saw as retribution from the conference. Now that things have settled down, Kevin Warren wants Husker fans to know that he deeply respects them.
“Nebraska’s an incredibly valued member of the Big Ten.”
– Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren
— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) January 7, 2021
“My feelings about Nebraska football have always been strong, have always been positive, and they’ll remain strong and positive,” Warren told The World-Herald this week. “Nebraska’s an incredibly valued member of the Big Ten.”
He addressed a lawsuit filed by Nebraska football parents against the league as well, making it clear that he doesn’t take it personally. He repeatedly praised the “passion” of Huskers football fans and family members.
“Any issues with parents and the lawsuit — that’s passion,” Warren said. “And I’d rather deal with people who are passionate, because I’m a passionate person. It tells me they care, they’re concerned, they work hard, and I have no doubt, from a football perspective, Scott Frost will continue to build that program, continue to get better, and they’ll be competing for Big Ten championships and they’ll be back on the national stage.”
“Healthy tension emanates out of passion, out of dedication, out of loyalty, out of passion,” Warren said. “And it’s that passion that makes the Big Ten the Big Ten.”
It’s unclear if Nebraska fans will take this olive branch right now, but ultimately they’ll probably have to. The program’s future is with the Big Ten, they need to find a way to make it work and succeed in that league.
The post Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren Praises Nebraska’s ‘Passion’ appeared first on The Spun.