Iowa Football

Chuck Grassley to Big Ten: Play ball

Iowa Senator among political leaders calling for return

Some politicians are calling for the return of Big Ten football. (The Gazette)
Some politicians are calling for the return of Big Ten football. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling on the Big Ten Conference to reverse its decision not to play football this year.

“Considering all the rules we expect American ppl to follow 2b safe: masks/social distance etc Ive come to conclusion the decision was just plain wrong bc our fans r responsible 2follow rules PLAY FOOTBALL,” the Iowa Republican tweeted Tuesday.

“If people had to wear masks, and if people were six feet apart,” Grassley said Wednesday he thinks it would be safe to play and to have fans in the bleachers.

It might mean only 25,000 people in attendance at University of Iowa games rather 70,000. It might mean restriction on tailgating or even no tailgating. He thinks fans would follow the guidelines if it meant there would be football.

“And if they didn’t abide by the rules, you don’t have to let them in the gate,” he said.

Like most professional sports, games could be played without fans in the stands.

He also wants consideration for the players who “put their whole life into football. If they’re seniors it’s their last opportunity to play.

“This fall, you’ll never have anything that you’d call normal,” he said, “but you could try something.”

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Also Tuesday, Grassley’s grandson, Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, joined other state lawmakers in calling on the Big Ten to play football.

The Biden campaign has seized on the issue, too, and will host a call with former NFL and Iowa State quarterback Sage Rosenfels to discuss President Donald Trump’s “failed pandemic response” as well as the economic fallout of the Cy-Hawk game not being played for the first time since 1976.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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