PSU Athletic Director adds to the uncertainty of fall sports and football season

Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour has added to the uncertainty and confusion of the postponed Big Ten football season.

On a zoom conference call Monday, Barbour said she remains unclear on whether was actually an official vote by the chancellors and presidents of the Big Ten last week or whether the outcome to postpone fall sports was just agreed upon.

“It is unclear to me whether or not there was a vote,” she said. “Nobody has ever told me there was. I just don’t know.”

Barbour said she wants to play and added that PSU President Eric Barron “explored every option to play that would have been acceptable from a health and safety standpoint.”

She hopes a spring season can be a viable alternative.

“The presidents and chancellors made their decision based on science, information from medical experts and concerns that lie in a number of different categories and I don’t see that changing,” Barbour said. “But I absolutely see the spring being viable.”

Parents groups from many of the Big Ten schools, including Penn State, have appealed to the conference to reinstate the fall season. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed their fall seasons while the SEC, ACC and Big 12 have not.

Barbour did not sound optimistic that the Big Ten will change its mind.

She said the uncertainty the presidents felt about the coronavirus was not changing, otherwise, I think they would have held out.”

She thinks it’s time to look forward.

“When it comes to this fight, it is trying to find a way, a way to have a season,” Barbour said. “I am a true believer in finding a balance of being safe and yet still living our lives. Fighting to me is about having a plan — a really, really smart plan, one that the student-athletes trust.”

Barbour shared with the media that a more focused concept of what a Big Ten spring football season would look like may be released in the next week or so.?

Barbour hopes the Penn State community, including the student-athletes, families and coaches can work together going forward.

“I am really staunch about the fact of giving our students-athletes time with their coaches in all sports,” she said. “We can’t tell them, it is eight hours, summer access and only the ones in the weight room can talk to the coach. That is not going to work. These students need their coaches — men, and women.”


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