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Fitzgerald, Vos urge Big Ten to kick off football season

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 12:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s top two Republicans added their name to an open letter by a Michigan lawmaker that urges Big Ten officials to reconsider their decision to cancel the fall football season.

The letter, written by Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield, argues that by not going ahead with its season the students long-term academic and professional careers are being put at risk.

“These athletes are losing a vital part of student life and are becoming less marketable to future employers with each passing week,” Chatfield (R-Levering) wrote.

In his letter, Chatfield also points to the millions of dollars that are being lost by not playing the season on time, saying that’s money that supports students' scholarships.

It goes on to argue that the Big Ten has set up health and safety protocols the signers believe are second-to-none, with enhanced testing procedures and updated quarantine policies, and asks the commissioners to give coaches and players “a chance to make them work.”

“All of that unprecedented planning and teamwork was an unmitigated success, and yet somehow the conference has decided to cast it aside anyway,” Chatfield wrote.

In all, ten Republican lawmakers, all of whom hold the Speaker or Leader titles in their respective legislatures, signed onto the letter.

After initially pulling the plug on fall sports on August 11, Big Ten officials have reportedly met to consider trying to squeeze in at least part of the season. It had previously scratched all non-conference games.

It comes a day after the chancellor of University of Wisconsin- Madison is directing students to restrict in-person interactions and limit movement for only essential activities for two weeks to stem a potential campus-wide outbreak.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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