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The SEC is still planning to start its 2020 season on Sept. 26.

Donald Trump, Big Ten revolt and Herschel Walker: What social media is saying after a wild day in college football

Given the events of the weekend, Monday figured to be a very interesting day in the land of college football. And it didn’t disappoint.

Between politicians lobbying with players for the right to play, head coaches weighing in and an update of sorts from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, there was a ton of both news and reactions from the day in college football.

Bizarre day for the Big Ten

The big news of the morning was a report from the Detroit Free Press that the Big Ten was canceling its season. But the official announcement from the conference never came. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, who played at Ohio State, seemed to clarify for the conference later in the day that is voting to postpone, and not cancel a fall season.

The Big Ten is set to be the first of the Power 5 conferences to return to the field this season, with Ohio State and Illinois set to play on Sept. 3. The league had previously agreed to a 10-game, conference-only schedule.

After the reports from this morning, a number of Big Ten head coaches came out with various statements, all of which were in favor of playing a season. From Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Penn State’s James Franklin, Ohio State’s Ryan Day and Nebraska’s Scott Frost, each head coach made it very clear they want to play.

Day and Frost both stated that if they could not play in the Big Ten this season that they’d exhaust every option and explore the possibility of playing in a different conference this fall.

Politicians lobby for college football to be played

A day after the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Chubba Hubbard made the #WeWanttoPlay hashtag the top trending topic on Twitter, several politicians took to Twitter to voice that they also wanted to see college football played this season. Among them, United States Senators Marco Rubio and Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler and President Donald Trump had multiple tweets on the matter.

Not everyone associated with college football though was thrilled with the politicians getting involved. Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds voiced his displeasure with how Trump has handled the pandemic, putting college football players in a spot where they’d have to beg to play a season.

Reynolds wasn’t the only player that didn’t seem thrilled about some of the hypocrisy when it comes to athletes speaking out.

What does it all mean for the SEC?

While the Big Ten seems on the verge of making a decision, the SEC seems content to continue on its path that it has set out on. The league delayed the start of the season until Sept. 26, in part to see how introducing students to campus would impact cases.

Sankey provided an update on where the conference stands.

“Can we play,” Sankey asked on Twitter. “I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate, and care for student-athletes every day and will continue to do so … every day.”

Related: SEC commissioner Greg Sankey reveals league stance amid uncertain times

Sankey was far from the only SEC figure to share their thoughts on where things stand on Monday. Both coaches — such as Florida’s Dan Mullen and Arkansas’ Sam Pittman — and players like Auburn’s Bo Nix and Alabama’s Mac Jones made it clear they want to play this season.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban does not have a Twitter, but he did make his stance clear in speaking to ESPN’s Chris Low.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Saban told ESPN. “I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2% positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of July.”

Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman also met with the Tennessee team on Monday as well.

A handful of Georgia football players have stated that they want to play, but none of the Georgia coaches, including head coach Kirby Smart, have said anything on the matter.

Related: Georgia football coaches, recruits celebrate commitment of top-100 prospect Brock Bowers

But Georgia legend Herschel Walker did ask to keep politics out of sports and allow players to play.

The biggest new concern

There was a new concern that crystalized on Monday, as a report from ESPN outlined why the sudden change in the Big Ten. It comes from the conference learning more about COVID-19, specifically with the effects the disease has on the heart and how it has led to cases of Myocarditis,  an inflammation of the heart muscle, in five Big Ten athletes.

The studies done about COVID-19 and increases in Myocarditis are still in their infancy but there’s enough anecdotal evidence to raise the alarm. It’s also just another example of not knowing the long-term risks of the disease yet.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who tested positive for COVID-19, was diagnosed with Myocarditis and because of that will not pitch this season. It will be worth monitoring how much this specific issue is discussed when talking about whether athletes should come back and return to play this fall.

Another conference and team pulls the plug

Prior to Monday, the Mid-American Conference and the University of Connecticut had announced that they would not being playing this fall. Another conference joined the MAC, while Old Dominion announced it would not be playing this fall.

The Mountain West is now the second FBS  conference to announce it will postpone its season. That means the likes of Boise State, Colorado State and Hawaii will not play this fall.

Another Group of 5 conference though did announce that it would be following the SEC’s lead, as Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reports that the Sun Belt will be following the SEC’s lead. McMurphy also reported that Conference USA will continue and try to play this season, even with member Old Dominion announcing it will not have a season.

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