Iowa Football

Iowa football parents group 'firmly rejects' Big Ten commissioner's open letter

Hawkeyes parents still plan to rally at league offices Friday

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren released an “open letter to the Big Ten community” on Wednesday afternoon that essentially repeated last week’s historic message that the league will not have fall football because of uncertainties surrounding COVID-19.

This was Warren’s answer to several parents groups from programs around the league, to players like Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields who started an online petition in hopes of changing the league’s mind and to fans, who won’t stop openly wondering why the ACC, SEC and Big 12 can do this and the Big Ten and Pac-12 can’t?

The Iowa parents group responded Thursday with a resounding rejection of Warren’s letter.

“Commissioner Warren & Presidents have once again failed to address our questions and concerns and therefore their response is unacceptable,” said the parents’ response. “The lack of transparency, hypocrisy, and failure of leadership gives us no confidence in this decision, or future decisions.

“BIG10 players, who have sacrificed so much, deserve better. BIG10 parents and fans deserve better. The athletes that will suffer due to the economic impact of this decision and the loss of opportunity to realize their dreams are in our thoughts and our prayers. They are not blind to the risks of playing and never have been.”

The Iowa group will send representatives to a rally Friday at Big Ten offices in Rosemont, Ill. Also, the Detroit News reported this week that prominent college athletics attorney Tom Mars has filed Freedom of Information requests with schools searching for information on the decision to postpone fall football.

The Iowa group is aligned with this push for information.

“We trust this inquiry will get the answers we all so desperately need,” the response read. “If it reveals that our players and the truth have been misrepresented by the BIG10, we believe there should be consequences.”

Beyond Friday, within a week the Big Ten likely will announce plans for a spring season, which was the plan for football when the Big Ten announced the postponement last Tuesday.


Reports have circulated throughout the league that spring season could begin in January. The part of the Iowa parents’ letter that discusses the “economic impact of this decision” concerns Iowa’s upperclassmen NFL prospects. Players like wide receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith and kicker Keith Duncan will be on NFL draft boards. Solid senior seasons would’ve solidified or, perhaps, improved their draft status.

The earlier the season starts, the better chance a semblance of a season can finish before the 2021 National Football League draft, set to be held April 29 through May 1.

The NCAA’s Division I council on Wednesday approved a 12-hour schedule model for teams not playing this fall that includes time for strength and conditioning, meetings, and five hours of on-field activities with helmets per week.

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