Minnesota lawmakers Daudt, Gazelka join calls for Big Ten Conference to proceed

Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt are joining calls for Big Ten Conference officials to reconsider canceling this year’s football season.

In a letter sent Tuesday, lawmakers from Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin requested that Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren reconsider the cancellation.

"After hearing from many concerned students, parents and coaches, we have been encouraged to convey our support for their wishes and our responsibility to defend the students’ long-term academic and career interests," the letter states.

In March, the Big Ten Conference issued a statement canceling all remaining competitions — not just championship matches — through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year.

It also announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.

NCAA cancels tourneys, Big Ten cancels all competitions through end of academic year over COVID-19 concerns

That moratorium was extended in May. At that time, Big Ten officials said they are continuing to consult with medical experts and school leaders to determine appropriate steps for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Recent actions taken by other conferences across the country to start football and other fall sports have placed the Big Ten, its members and students at a disadvantage," the letter from lawmakers states, and goes on to request that the commissioner take the concerns of players, parents, coaches and fans "to heart and work with leadership at our universities to allow sports to continue safely this fall."