The Big 10’s conference leaders staked the moral high ground this summer by saying the conference wouldn’t play football (or any other sport) this fall because of coronavirus fears.
Then the lust for money and the championship dreams of one of its football teams made those supposedly ethical leaders change their minds. (Oh, I’m sorry, they changed their minds because fancy testing allowed them to quickly determine whether a player or players had contracted the virus. Of course it did.)
We’re about to watch those same leaders complete the selling of their souls.
In a day or two one of two scenarios will play out.
In one, the moral high ground be fully abandoned once those leaders erase the 6-game minimum rule they established at the beginning of the season that any team had to play in order to be eligible for the conference’s championship game. There’s no way they will prevent that one team — currently 5-0 and with a chance to grab a spot in the national championship playoffs — from missing that game.
It’s possible playing only five games will doom that team from making the national tournament. Nope, can’t have that.
The other option is to conveniently make sure another conference team can’t play this weekend so that the 5-0 team has an opponent and a path to that sixth game.
So, forget policies, forget standards. When winning is at stake, rules and ethics are mere speed bumps that can be easily altered. This is quite the life lesson.
And all the while, all of those players continue to receive (checks notes) no money for their labor. Please spare me the free tuition and free room and board argument.
The Big 10. Ethical empty.