The story of the B1G’s fall football blunder isn’t going away. But leave Powers Warren out of it
The next 532 words should probably go without saying.
But we find ourselves in a time when justice often gives way to ruthlessness when emotions trump reason and virtue.
The Big Ten screwed up. So did its commissioner. Not by postponing fall sports, but by how the decision to do so was made, and how it was communicated.
And Powers Warren had nothing to do with it.
We can decry the optics of the B1G commissioner’s son suiting up for Mississippi State this fall while his counterparts at Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska and the rest of the league sit idle. But attacking Powers should be off limits.
Philosophers long ago identified a logical fallacy known as tu quoque, which is Latin for “you too.” This type of argument points out hypocrisy in one’s opponent as a diversionary tactic from the actual issue at hand.
Is it hypocritical for Kevin Warren to support his son playing football this fall? Perhaps. But that’s not the central issue here.
To attack Powers for playing would ignore two important points:
- The nuances of the B1G’s decision. While Kevin Warren is the face of it, this was a collective choice made by college presidents. For what it’s worth, they preside over institutions in parts of the country that have different prevalent value systems than those of say, the Deep South.
- Powers Warren is a grown man. He doesn’t work for the B1G. He has no affiliation with it other than his dad happens to oversee it. To lament the fact that players didn’t get the choice to play this fall, as many B1G teams’ parents have (including Friday’s protest at B1G headquarters) while saying Powers Warren shouldn’t have that same option is a hypocrisy in and of itself.
But the issue isn’t the cancellation. It’s that Kevin Warren, per reports, didn’t have athletic directors, presidents and medical experts in the same Zoom room to talk things through. He played the middle man too often, and that’s no way to lead.
Then when the decision was made, it came out via a slew of vague statements and cryptic interviews with national reporters followed by more than a week of silence then finally a letter from Kevin Warren that expounded on the decision but not in grave detail and far too late to erase any damage.
Powers’ father, a highly successful NFL executive, has admitted his errors, for his part.
Those mistakes, though, have nothing to do with Powers.
Perhaps refreshingly, it’s hard to find direct attacks on Powers Warren on Twitter (but who knows what his mentions look like?). Good. That better be the case in a month when/if the Bulldogs and the rest of the SEC are playing actual football.
But just in case, here’s a bit about Powers Warren that is relevant.
He’s a 21-year-old, 6-3, 235-pound tight end heading into his redshirt junior season. After a standout prep career at Minnetonka High School in Minnesota, he went to IMG Academy and received personal instruction from Hall of Famer and family friend Cris Carter to boost his recruiting stock.
His nickname is “Powow,” and he’s majoring in kinesiology with a minor in sports studies.
And he doesn’t owe anyone an explanation, or an apology.
His dad might, but that’s a separate conversation. Let’s keep it that way.
Photo credit: Mississippi State athletics.