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As the Big Ten Turns: Here come the politicians

Already we've seen a certain politician attempt to sway Big Ten presidents into reversing their decision to postpone the conference's football season to no avail, at least thus far.

This, though, this could be different.

On Tuesday, Michigan speaker Lee Chatfield published a letter to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren urging the conference to get back on the field as soon as possible.

"Recent actions taken by other conferences across the country to start football and other fall sports have placed the Big ten, its members and students at a disadvantage," the letter reads. "These athletes are losing a vital part of student life and are becoming less marketable to future employers with each passing week. Additionally, our local universities stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars that support student scholarships."

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Though written by Chatfield, the letter was co-signed by politicians from six Big Ten states.

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While none of those politicians have anywhere near the clout of the President of the United States, their letter could stand a better chance at provoking a response than Donald Trump's. Thirteen of the 14 Big Ten schools are public institution, all of which are supported, at least in part, by state funding, and all of whom exist to serve the residents of that state.

No one's suggesting the University of Wisconsin will lose funding if the Badgers don't get back on the field as soon as possible. But if the state's Senate leader and the state's Speaker of the House ask a question of the university president -- particularly in regards to a decision that affects the entire state -- they deserve an answer.

And that right there cuts to the heart of the issue.

A month to the day after the MAC canceled its fall season and the Big Ten started signaling it would do the same, the conference still has released no hard-and-fast answers as to why it made the decision it did, at the time it did. Pursuant to that, it still has produced no actionable path forward.

The ACC and Big 12 will begin their seasons this weekend. The SEC will start in two weeks. The Pac-12 at least has a light at the end of its tunnel. The Big Ten, one month later, is still sitting in the dark.

Perhaps, after coaches, players and parents tried and failed, a set of state politicians can get some answers and some actions out of Big Ten leadership.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.