The cancellation of the Big Ten's fall season, made last week by the league's presidents and defender by new commissioner Kevin Warren, is deeply unpopular with a vocal segment of the league's players. Michigan football player Aiden Hutchinson definitely falls in that camp.
The defensive end was primed for a breakout season in 2020. As a sophomore in 2019, he made 68 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and was named to the All-Big Ten honorable mention list.
Instead, there is no guarantee that he'll have a junior season as schedule. The league is reportedly hoping to play during the spring semester, perhaps as soon as January, but unless the conference reverses course in a major way, there will be no fall ball. The cancellation came very soon after the Big Ten announced its fall conference-only schedule, and blindsided the league's players.
“I would say my emotions are just frustration. I’m just infuriated," the Michigan football standout told ESPN's Marty Smith on his podcast this week. “They made this decision without talking to us. The commissioner, our president — there were no words exchanged asking our thoughts on whether we wanna play."
Whether or not you agree with the league's decision, there hasn't been a ton of transparency from Warren and Big Ten leadership when it comes to reaching this decision.
Aiden Hutchinson wasn't afraid to call out Michigan president Dr. Mark Schlissel either.
"At the end of the day, we’re the ones playing the game and they didn’t ask us for our opinion and it’s super frustrating to find out one day that our president voted for us not to have a season when I’ve never seen that guy in my three years here at Michigan. So, you know, it was definitely frustrating and felt kinda helpless because there’s nothing I can do and us players don’t have a voice.”
He also made note that Warren's son Powers Warren is still set to play his fall season as a tight end at Mississippi State.
“I think it’s unfair that Kevin Warren, the B1G commissioner, is canceling the B1G season yet his son will be playing football at Mississippi State this year. That doesn’t quite make sense.”
Hopefully the Big Ten can figure something out soon to give some clarity on the status of the 2020-21 season for players, parents, coaches, and fans.