The Big Ten made it official on Tuesday, ending days of speculation and contradicting reports with a decision to postpone the fall season. In a perfect world, that would be the end of all the questions and things would be cut and dried.
If there is a football season, Christian Turner won’t be playing in it.
Turner, a junior running back, announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that he will be opting out of the season due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. It’s Michigan’s first player to opt out, though high-profile players from around the Big Ten such as Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons have gone the same route.
Less than a week after Michigan State University football halted its practices and went into a 14-day quarantine, Michigan is pausing voluntary workouts for ice hockey, volleyball, swimming and diving and field hockey, an athletic department spokesperson told The Daily.
Workouts have been paused because of both positive COVID-19 test results and contact tracing, according to a statement sent by the athletic department. The hockey team will resume workouts this week, with other programs scheduled to resume the week of Aug. 3.
“COVID is part of our society,” he said in a Zoom call with media earlier in the day. “Wasn’t caused by football or caused by sports. And there’s no expert view right now that I’m aware of that sports is going to make that worse. It’s part of our society, we’re going to have to deal with it.”
The uproar was predictable.
Except, well, that wasn’t really what he said. At least, it wasn’t all of what he said. Or even close to all of what he said.
Jim Harbaugh said he never saw, or heard, anything inappropriate surrounding the late Dr. Robert Anderson, the former University of Michigan doctor accused of sexual abuse by an ever-growing number of people, including ex-football players.
Anderson was the family doctor, Harbaugh said, as his father, Jack, was on the Michigan football coaching staff from 1973-79.
Harbaugh’s current contract, which runs until the end of the 2021 season, would see him paid $8.05 million this year if not for a 10 percent pay cut agreed to due to the financial deficit facing the athletic department. Instead, Harbaugh will get $7.245 million this year.