The Big Ten conference’s decision to postpone the 2020-21 fall season sparked an intense debate on social media and in locker rooms when it was announced last week.
Many fans and players expressed support for a fall season, with Ohio State University quarterback Justin Fields starting an online petition — which currently has more than 300,000 signatures — to bring back the season. He included the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, which sophomore defensive end George Karlaftis used when he retweeted the petition Sunday.
James Kane, a freshman in the Polytechnic Institute, disagreed with Fields’ petition and Karlaftis’ retweet.
“I think we should just hold off on sports for a while,” Kane said.
Parents of players at some Big Ten schools, including Ohio State, Nebraska and Iowa, are planning to travel to the office of Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren to protest in person later this week.
John Krefta, a junior in the College of Engineering and member of the Purdue marching band, said he agrees with the Big Ten’s move to postpone the season.
“I think that it’s for the best that they’re not having it,” Krefta said, “I know it’ll stink not having sports, I know that’s a big part of the college atmosphere every fall. It would be nice to have it in the spring or something.”
Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm proposed an eight-game spring football season, to be played between February and April 2021. Purdue’s athletic department declined to comment on the actions of Karlaftis and Brohm.
Eric Steinmetz, a senior in the Polytechnic Institute, said Brohm’s proposal for a spring season builds enthusiasm but takes care to address the uncertainty still at play.
“He said, first and foremost, it was just to get people talking, rather than actually being a final proposal,” Steinmetz said.
Warren released a statement on Wednesday clarifying the Big Ten’s decision was final, but left the conference open to the possibility of winter or spring seasons for the postponed sports.