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Could we still see Gopher football this fall? President and other sources say there's a chance

Right now, the Big Ten football season has been cancelled until further notice, but recent tweets from President Donald Trump and others suggest there's a chance.
Credit: KARE-11

MINNEAPOLIS — For Gopher football fans, it has been one crazy ride.

First there was a season, then there wasn't, then there was again, but wait, no, just kidding.

The situation has kept Minnesota sports journalists like Megan Ryan very busy this summer.

"It's been like 6 months of this turmoil and disappointment and confusion and all of these sorts of bad emotions mixed into one,” Star Tribune sportswriter Megan Ryan says.

"I mean, it started back in March when the pandemic first hit. Gopher football was in the middle of spring practices. They got one week in and it was all cancelled."

Ryan says players and coaches were saddened by the Big Ten's decision, but many still had hope that things would turn around later that summer.

“At the time it was like yeah this is a bummer and we’re going to be a little behind, because we don’t have spring football, but we’ll get back together this summer and then in the fall it will kind of be back to normal.”

And at first, things did go back to normal, at least as close to normal as you can be these days.

"On August 6th they said okay, here's the schedule, we're going to play, and then literally a week later on August 11th they came out with an announcement that said, actually we're not going to play, and all fall sports are cancelled," Ryan says.

RELATED: U of M: 43 student-athletes test positive for COVID-19

That’s when things started to fall apart.

"They got all this push back from athletes from parents, from schools. I think a couple Nebraska players filed a lawsuit against them, ‘we want to play this season we don't know how you reached this decision,”’ Ryan says.

And then some of the other conferences decided they WERE going to play, and that made things even more confusing.

"You have some of the teams that are going to play, some of the teams are not or they're going to wait until the spring, it makes everything more complicated because how do you do a championship football game."

Then came the reports that the Big Ten was looking at starting up in January, playing at indoor facilities like U.S. Bank Stadium.

Then came the reports that said no, they want to start around Thanksgiving.

And then this past Tuesday, the president got involved.

“He tweeted and the Big Ten confirmed that he had a conversation with the Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren about immediately I think was his phrase, restarting the season,” Ryan says.

So, who knows?

Between that and all the other conferences that still want to play, all the fans, players, coaches, sponsors and small businesses that rely on college football, maybe it will happen?

But Ryan isn't so sure.

"I think the same things remain intact you have to have the same standards that are met. The spread rates have to go down your testing has to be up to speed all of those benchmarks still have to be met."

And now the latest update in the sports world suggests the Big 10 could possibly start playing as early as October 10th.

Sports radio host Dan Patrick, an ESPN alum, tweeted that a source says “if conference can pass updated safety measures and procedures, Big Ten targeting Oct. 10 to start football season.”

So, we might see Gopher football this fall after all?

Again, who knows.