Nebraska Huskers football: If Big Ten pulls plug, Scott Frost says NU is ready to create its own schedule
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If Big Ten pulls plug, NU is ready to create its own schedule

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said the Huskers were willing to explore scheduling options beyond the Big Ten if the conference decided to cancel the 2020 season.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said the Huskers were willing to explore scheduling options beyond the Big Ten if the conference decided to cancel the 2020 season.

Nebraska football wants to play games this fall, and it’s willing to do so regardless of what the Big Ten Conference ultimately decides to do with its 2020 season.

During a press conference via Zoom on Monday afternoon, head coach Scott Frost made it clear that the Huskers were determined to play football this fall, even if meant creating their own schedule should the conference decide to postpone or cancel this season.

“We want to play a Big Ten schedule,” Frost said. “I hope that’s what happens. Our University is committed to playing no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter where it is and who it is, so we’ll see how all those chips fall and certainly hope it’s in the Big Ten and if it isn’t, then we’re prepared to look for other options.”

Frost added that he wasn’t sure what Nebraska would actually be allowed to do in regards to scheduling games on its own, as contractual obligations and television rights would certainly have to be adjusted.

But the financial impact of not having a 2020 season is undeniable, and not only for the league’s football programs and athletic departments.

Frost speculated that the Nebraska athletic department budget could lose anywhere from $80-$120 million if football was not played. Then there is the collateral damage the rest of the university, the City of Lincoln, and the State of Nebraska would suffer as well.

Frost said he’d heard Lincoln could lose up to $300 million with hits taken to local businesses that depend on income from NU football home games.

"If we cancel football tomorrow, we're throwing up the white flag and saying, 'this can't be done,'" Frost said.

Three Husker players representatives - quarterback Adrian Martinez, offensive lineman Matt Farniok, and cornerback Dicaprio Bootle - also spoke to media on the Zoom conference call, and all three echoed their head coach's determination to play this fall.

"We want to be able to represent the Big Ten, but if the Big Ten chooses to cancel, we are 100-percent open to playing whoever wants to play," Farniok said.

"After practice (on Monday), I was running around the locker room telling everyone we're going to join the AFC North," Bootle added.

Other Big Ten head coaches also took public stances on wanting to play football this fall, including Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Penn State’s James Franklin, and Indiana’s Tom Allen.

But Frost was by far the most direct in essentially issuing an ultimatum to the conference that if the league decided to shut down football, the Huskers were ready and willing to make their own season happen if possible.

“We want to play a Big Ten schedule,” Frost said. “I think our University is committed to playing football any way we possibly can regardless of what anybody else does.”