President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE declared that he “brought back Big Ten football” during Tuesday’s contentious presidential debate in Cleveland.
During a segment devoted to discussing the economy during and after the pandemic, the president took credit for the Big Ten Conference’s decision to resume the fall college football season after originally postponing all sports due to the coronavirus.
“I’m the one who brought back football,” Trump said. “By the way, I brought back Big Ten football. It was me, and I’m very happy to do it and the people of Ohio are very proud of me.”
Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE laughed during the president’s comments as moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE attempted to redirect the conversation back to the candidates’ economic plans.
Biden laughs at Trump as he takes credit for Big Ten football (his mishandling of the coronavirus caused the season to be delayed in the first place) pic.twitter.com/Qnef0Ub4zH
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 30, 2020
The Big Ten reversed course earlier this month and unanimously decided it would start a nine-week season in late October.
Trump has repeatedly praised the decision, including the day of the Big Ten’s announcement, claiming he had played a part.
“Great News: BIG TEN FOOTBALL IS BACK,” he posted on Twitter. “All teams participate. Thank you to the players, coaches, parents, and all school representatives. Have a FANTASTIC SEASON! It is my great honor to have helped.”
It has been unclear whether and how Trump helped in the decisionmaking, with one person with knowledge of the discussions between the White House and the conference telling USA Today that the Big Ten never asked for or accepted resources from the White House.
Like several other NCAA conferences, the Big Ten initially delayed its football season in August, pointing to the coronavirus pandemic. Big Ten officials attributed the change in decision to the conference’s medical advisory board.