Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour met with media on Monday for the first time since the Big Ten’s announcement that the 2020 fall athletic season would not take place.
Barbour spent about an hour with the assembled media and dropped some interesting tidbits, including that she is unaware if a vote took place on the matter.
“It’s unclear to me whether there was every a vote or not,” she said. “But it is clear to me that Penn State and Eric Barron...as he took his thoughts to the Big Ten, into the various conversations they had, explored every option to play. Every options that would’ve been acceptable from a healthy and safety standpoint. So to say that Dr. Barron fought for the ability for our student-athletes to play this fall, I think that would be a correct assumption.”
The Big Ten announced it would move to a conference-only schedule in July before releasing said schedule on Aug. 5. Less than a week later the conference announced it would no longer hold a fall sports season.
Reports indicated the decision was a result of a vote by university presidents and chancellors, but Barbour now casts doubt on whether that vote actually took place.
She later said that “It is unclear to me whether or not there was a vote. Nobody has ever told me there was. I just don’t know whether there actually a vote by the chancellors and presidents.”
CBS Sports then reported that Minnesota president Joan Gabel said that “(presidents and chancellors) didn’t vote per se. It was a deliberative process.”
Barbour later specified a third time, plainly, that she does not know whether a vote was taken.”
She joins football coach James Franklin in voicing her displeasure with the process. Franklin is expected to meet with media on Wednesday.
In addition to football talk, Barbour said she believes a purported bubble for college basketball would be infeasible for an entire season, though that something similar may be able to take place for any prospective NCAA Tournament.