Paul Finebaum: B1G is 'paying the piper' for COVID-19 protocol
The news of the Wisconsin-Nebraska game being cancelled due to COVID-19 has sent shockwaves across the college football landscape. The B1G is now coming under the ire of many media members, including ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, for their handling of the 2020 schedule.
The game against Nebraska will not be made up. Wisconsin’s next game will be at home vs. Purdue on Nov. 7. Nebraska’s next game will be at Northwestern on Nov. 7.
The B1G postponed the 2020 football season and eventually decided on a conference-only schedule because of COVID-19.
Finebaum blasted the B1G’s rule that players have to sit out 21 days after testing positive and says the conference only has itself to blame.
“This is what the Big Ten wanted,” Finebaum said in a quote transcribed by 247Sports. “The Big Ten, remember, on August 11 said, ‘we’re done. We’re not playing football this year.’ And then they were forced back into it because they looked around and they saw Notre Dame playing and they saw everyone else playing, they saw it being successful. The presidents of the Big Ten decided, ‘okay, if you coaches want to come back, we’re going to put some serious teeth into the protocol.’ You have an immunologist and an epidemiologist who are presidents in the Big Ten. And they put, what I think is, a ridiculous 21-day protocol.”
Finebaum added that the truncated schedule with no bye weeks left no wiggle room for the possibility of COVID-19 outbreaks.
“Everyone else in sports, it’s either 10-14 days. That’s the CDC guideline. They offered 21. So you’re playing an eight-game season, plus one at the end of the season with the championship game, and there are no bye weeks, guys. None. A team like Wisconsin, who was a threat to be a divisional champ and play Ohio State in the title game, they’re done now,” Finebaum said in a quote transcribed by 247Sports. “…The Big Ten got what they wanted. They did this so Ohio State could have a legitimate shot at winning the National Championship, and now they’re paying the piper.”
The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 began their seasons in September, while the B1G’s began its season last week. The B1G’s late arrival to the college football season and zero margin for error has certainly left it in a precarious spot.