Lou Holtz opens up about Big Ten, Trump’s influence on season

'I do believe it's in the best interest of the player'

President Trump’s responsibility in bringing back Big Ten football amid the coronavirus pandemic was a representation of the players who didn’t have a say in the matter, former college football coach Lou Holtz explained to “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

“Why did President Trump get involved? He got involved because the players and the families did not have a seat at the table,” he said. “He felt that he should represent them because they wanted to play.”

The president spoke with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Ward who announced the revival of the college football on Wednesday. Due to the development and availability of rapid coronavirus testing, the league will be returning on Oct. 23.

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Holtz said he doesn’t know whether or not Trump’s interference will impact the election, but he’s certain this was the best decision for young players and aspiring professional athletes.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren addresses the media in Indianapolis. March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren addresses the media in Indianapolis. March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

“I do believe it's in the best interest of the player,” he said. “When they’re playing high school football in Ohio and Ohio State’s not playing, you say what in the world is going on?”

Trump recently announced that Holtz will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his charity and commitment to football. The longtime coach told MacCallum that he is humbled.

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“I'm sorry my wife's not here… but my family will be with me and I’m humbled,” he said. “Whenever you receive recognition, other people gave me the opportunity to do so and that’s certainly true in this case.”