University of Minnesota regents on Friday voted 9-3 against a resolution to formally support proceeding with Big Ten fall sports at the “earliest logistically possible date.”
The resolution, proposed by Regent Michael Hsu, met heavy resistance largely along procedural lines with several regents saying they didn’t have time to review it.
“I did not know this resolution was coming,” U Board chairman Ken Powell told his fellow regents. “I can’t really follow it. To me, it’s just not good governance to move forward in that way.”
Some regents said they can’t wait to see Big Ten football but don’t think it’s their place to insert themselves into the debate over when to restart Big Ten sports. Hsu disagreed.
The Big Ten’s chancellors and presidents reportedly could meet soon to vote again on a new timeline for the return of fall competition. The league’s medical subcommittee will present new rapid testing options for teams Saturday to a group of Big Ten leaders, according to ESPN.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 chose not to play this fall because of COVID-19 concerns. Meanwhile, the ACC and Big 12 will kick off their seasons Saturday, with the SEC season scheduled to start Sept. 26.
“We should be in no different situation in terms of our league and our conference,” Hsu said Friday. “Basically, I think the Big Ten it’s become a joke every day in the media. I just feel the University of Minnesota needs to be on record as to what direction we think we want to be in.”
Hsu remarked that he felt the regents should have been informed by U President Joan Gabel about the process when the league’s leaders of their 14 institutions and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren decided to postpone fall sports by a reported 11-3 vote on Aug. 11.
Whether there was a Big Ten vote to postpone fall sports was initially unclear after Gabel’s statements last month. She first said, “We didn’t vote, per se.” But Gabel later revealed: “I joined Big Ten Presidents in voting to postpone college football and all other fall sports.”
One of Hsu’s biggest goals with his resolution is for more clarity with decisionmaking.
“Our president did not inform the board about what’s going on with this,” Hsu said. “And I think that is a problem we need to address going forward … I have no idea how our president voted, or if there even was a vote.”
Losing fall sports for the 2020-21 season meant a projected $75 million hole for the Gophers, who announced Thursday the cutting of men’s track and field, men’s tennis and men’s gymnastics due to financial difficulties from the pandemic.