District court orders Big Ten to provide more documents on vote to delay fall football season

Nebraska's AD put to rest all presumptions of playing outside the Big Ten Conference during the Husker Nightly radio show on Thursday evening.
Nebraska's AD put to rest all presumptions of playing outside the Big Ten Conference during the Husker Nightly radio show on Thursday evening.(KOLN)
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 7:12 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 7:43 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - The Big Ten has 10 days to provide more information and documents regarding the vote to postpone the 2020-21 Huskers football season.

In a mixed response from the District Court of Lancaster County on Wednesday, the Big Ten was ordered to provide numerical documentation of any votes cast regarding the postponement but could keep the names behind each vote confidential to prevent harassment or pressure to change their vote.

The court denied the request for access to the minutes, transcripts, and recordings of any Big Ten meetings where such decisions were made, the Order on Limited Discovery states, but did compel conference leadership to provide copies of all materials that govern the Big Ten’s decision-making processes, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and handbooks.

Calling them “broad and potentially burdensome,” the court also struck down requests for any and all scientific data and medical information considered in making the decision to postpone play, the document states.

The court acknowledged the urgency emphasized in the lawsuit, exercising its ability to expedite the request that could otherwise by allowed 45 days to process, but disagreed with the conclusion that the season could not be postponed.

“The Plaintiffs argue an emergency exists because time is slipping away to play football this fall. But the evidence does not necessarily show that the Plaintiffs could not have a meaningful football season sometime later in the 2020–2021 academic calendar year,” the document states.

The attorney representing the players issued a response Wednesday to the court’s order:

“The court’s order recognizes the time-sensitive nature of the lawsuit and imposes a September 12 deadline for the Big Ten to produce responsive documents.”

This all stems from a lawsuit filed last week on behalf of eight Nebraska football players: Garrett Snodgrass, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper, Noa Pola-Gates, Alante Brown, Brant and Brig Banks, and Jackson Hannah.

Despite information released by the Big Ten where it was said that presidents and chancellors from the universities voted 11-3 in favor of a postponement, the players said it was not enough and decided to push forward with their lawsuit.

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