While nothing may ever be worse than July 23, 2012, for Penn State fans, Tuesday rivals it. On Tuesday, August 11, 2020, the Big Ten announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic they will not play football this fall.
The announcement, while not surprising, was no less gut wrenching and disheartening for Penn State fans. Sadness, depression, anger, frustration, to name a few, were the emotions fans of the Nittany Lions and all Big Ten schools were feeling when the news was announced.
For as upset as fans were about the news, it hit Big Ten players and coaches even harder. Some players may have just had the final year of their collegiate careers ripped away from them, many others could still lose a year of eligibility. So, without a fall season to have Twitter reactions to write about, we’re going to take a look today at how Penn State players and coaches reacted on Twitter to the news that there will not be a Big Ten season this fall.
Before any announcement was made, it was clear that the Nittany Lion players and coaches wanted there to be a season.
This included players such as Michal Menet, Pat Freiermuth, PJ Mustipher, and Jordan Stout, among others, expressing their confidence in the program’s protocols and safety plans.
Our staff and athletic department have a great plan for us to stay safe and get us ready for the season. We are able to continue getting better and I have felt safe every step of the way. We want to play and we will be ready to play— Michal Menet (@Mike_Menet62) August 9, 2020
Since day one coming back to campus the Penn State Football staff and medical experts have put our health and safety first, above anything else. The guidelines put into place keep us safe while playing the game we love. We are ready to play and we want to play.— Pat Freiermuth (@pat_fry5) August 9, 2020
This team, the training staff, and the medical staff have went above and beyond to make sure we remain healthy during this pandemic!! We have had very few cases as a program and that just shows that we can and will continue to be safe on the field and off the field. #WeWantToPlay— Jordan Stout (@JORDANSTOUT92) August 9, 2020
Through the noise and the uncertainty, everyone in this program has worked day in and day out since we arrived back on campus in early June. We will continue preparing under proper guidlines for the upcoming season hopeful that the Big Ten will allow us to play.— Pj Mustipher (@KingPJ55) August 9, 2020
The Penn State football doctors, trainers, and coaches have always put our safety and well being before anything else. The precautions and guidelines that our team is following puts us in the best position possible to be healthy and successful. #WeWantToPlay— Will Fries (@willfries55) August 9, 2020
The Penn State football medical staff and organization as a whole have a great plan for us, not only to keep us safe and healthy but to allow us to better ourselves daily. We are ready to play more than ever!— Jake Pinegar (@jpinegar10) August 9, 2020
There’s a reason our team has had little to no cases or complications with handling COVID-19. I am extremely grateful for our staff, and particularly the training staff, for putting our health first and thus allowing us to continue mastering our crafts. We are ready. #IWantToPlay— Will Levis (@will_levis) August 9, 2020
This extended to player’s parents as well.
If They want To Play Let Them Play. pic.twitter.com/Mh1p5RfqYy— carlton l wade (@cjwade0312_wade) August 10, 2020
.@Shizzeee_ wants to play. We support his decision 100%. @coachjfranklin & @PennStateFball lead the country in safety protocols. B1G only schedule ensures that B1G cleaning protocols. Best we can do in these times. We support our son and we support Penn State. Let them play!— Jen Simmons (@JenGroveSimmons) August 10, 2020
Prior to the Big Ten announcing their decision to cancel the fall season, James Franklin, as he always does, came out with a great statement on Twitter about the situation. This led to both players and coaches standing with their head coach.
After all of this... the Big Ten hammer dropped. Leading the way for the Nittany Lions, as a true leader does, was quarterback Sean Clifford.
Plenty of other players and coaches took to Twitter to express their feelings as well.
*SIGH*— Jesse Luketa (@OttawasVeryOwn) August 10, 2020
Really my first fall without football since I was 3— Jahan Dotson (@H55ZY) August 12, 2020
I’m so happy I know how to adjust and adapt— Rasheed Walker (@Cin5oTre3) August 12, 2020
Soooo y’all gone let me get my 5th year back right? @NCAA— Antonio Shelton (@_thegroovyone) August 10, 2020
I just pray that I didn’t have my last football practice yesterday. That’s all.— Antonio Shelton (@_thegroovyone) August 11, 2020
Dawg...we just got the schedule last week— LaMont Wade (@Goony_38) August 11, 2020
Living in Spain without the S....— Fred Hansard (@Fred_Hansard53) August 11, 2020
.....— Fred Hansard (@Fred_Hansard53) August 11, 2020
Next Whiteout is going CRAZY— Aeneas Hawkins (@AeneasHawkins) August 11, 2020
Through all of this your heart has to break for these players and coaches. It also breaks for the cheerleaders, Blue Band members and members of other fall sports who have all had a season ripped away from them. In some cases, their final season.
Finally, there was Micah Parsons. While Micah had already opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus, he took to Twitter to say something many Penn State fans will agree with.
Covid broke up maybe one of the best teams in Penn state history!!— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) August 11, 2020
Penn State was slated to have their most talented roster since maybe the legendary 1994 squad. Between a manageable crossover schedule with the Big Ten West, getting Ohio State at home and the amount of talent the Nittany Lions were slated to bring back, it appeared this could finally be the year they got over the College Football Playoff hump. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, it will always be nothing more than a major ‘what if?’.