If there’s no chance that the Big Ten will play football this fall, someone might want to inform the players and their parents, who are still trying to make a season happen in 2020.

Parents of Big Ten athletes gathered outside the conference’s headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois, Friday morning, demanding answers regarding why football can’t be played during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We want to know what has to happen in different areas around these schools for us to move forward safely,” Randy Wade, father of Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, said, via OutKick. “We don’t want them to just say we can’t play because of uncertainty.”

The Big Ten officially canceled fall sports on Aug. 11, hoping to play them in the spring. The announcement came less than a week after the conference released a revised schedule for the 2020 season. 

The Pac-12 also postponed fall sports. The remaining Power Five football conferences are planning to go ahead with the season, starting in September. Six of the 10 FBS conferences continue to move forward with fall football.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren wrote an open letter in the aftermath of the decision, saying the vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors to postpone the season won’t be revisited. Warren highlighted concerns regarding testing, disruptions to practices and games because of coronavirus cases and the unknowns about long-term effects from the virus.

Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that has been linked to the coronavirus, is of particular concern. When the Big Ten postponed the season, it was aware of at least 10 players with the heart condition, The Athletic reported.

“Nobody’s gonna argue that this isn’t a real virus. We all get that. We all understand. But why is it we could go from having a schedule put out to six days later a hard shutdown?” Jay Kallenberger, the father of Iowa offensive lineman Mark Kallenberger, said at the rally, adding that he was comfortable with the school’s safety protocols.

“Our kids are grown men. They can make their own decision. Do they want to play? Don’t they want to play? And I can tell you from my standpoint, talking with my son, he wants to play. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard more disappointment in a young man’s life than when the final word came out and Commissioner Warren said he would not revisit this.” 

A group of parents of Nebraska football players has even threatened to sue the Big Ten for its lack of transparency. The parents want the conference to release any documentation related to the votes that canceled the season.

A petition started by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields had north of 293,000 signatures Friday morning. Fields and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, possibly the first two picks in next year’s NFL Draft, have been outspoken in their desire to play football this season.

Big Ten coaches have been adamant in wanting to play, as well. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh released a lengthy statement regarding why the season should continue just a day before the conference postponed fall sports. Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Penn State’s James Franklin and Nebraska’s Scott Frost have publicly voiced similar opinions.

Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour said in a press conference Monday that she didn’t even know if there was an actual vote by the Big Ten chancellors and presidents to postpone the season. Barbour’s comments raised eyebrows, forcing some to wonder if the fall Big Ten football might be salvageable.

“That’s absurd and no one should believe that,” longtime college football radio host Paul Finebaum said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” There will not be another vote because this is written in concrete, no matter what everyone says.”

That hasn’t stopped Big Ten players and parents from throwing a Hail Mary in an attempt to save the season.

“You can’t tell us that the Big Ten can’t get it together, that the ACC can get it together. That the SEC can get it together. The Big Ten can do the same,” Andrea Tate, mother of Ohio State cornerback Sevyn Banks, said Friday.

“We need the Big Ten Conference to stand and fight.”

Ohio State Football Big Ten The Ohio State Buckeyes on the post-game stage after winning the Big Ten Championship game over the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images