Did Big Ten ultimately fear Tom Mars, lawsuits, more than virus issues?

It was not without more than a passing interest that the decision by the Big Ten on Tuesday to do a U-turn on college football came a few weeks after lawsuit talk started.

And Tom Mars got involved. The Rogers-based attorney who is basically undefeated, untied and unscored on in dealing with the NCAA and these things.

“They didn’t want discovery in these lawsuits,” Bill King of Nashville Sports Radio told Phil Elson, Matt Jenkins and Matt Travis (Halftime) on ESPN Arkansas on Wednesday morning. “They didn’t want somebody looking under the hood here.

“They are hiding behind medical items and the betterment of the student-athlete.”

I’m inclined to go along with King. When Mars got involved following lawsuits from Nebraska and Ohio State folks, the act of the B1G suddenly finding new information is laughable at best.

“They knew way back in the spring they weren’t playing and they expected everybody else to crumble,” King said. “Their grand plan failed. Then lawsuits sprung up and people want answers.

“People want to know specifically Big Ten protocols. There are rules when it comes to a so-called vote. They never voted and I’m convinced of that.”

Mars was going to find out. Nobody wanted Mars snooping around. In my opinion, they were more afraid of what he might find (and goodness knows what nobody has thought to ask about he might find) and they hustled to find a way to play.

“It scared them into succumbing,” King said. “I don’t think this group of clowns was missing a darned thing.”

Most college presidents, especially in the B1G, don’t wake up every morning thinking about college football and whether the coach has figured out a way to move the ball against Ohio State’s defense.

“This is a big sham,” King said.

The Big Ten is starting nearly a month (Oct. 24) after the SEC kicks things off next weekend and will play a shorter schedule, hoping they can figure out a way to get into the College Football Playoff.

As things move forwardly rapidly with the coronavirus medical advancements, they are counting on that to continue and hoping for a little luck.

With eight games in eight weeks they have no wiggle room to move games around.

Somebody will have some positive tests, but whether that’s enough to shut things down is anybody’s guess and there is absolutely no way to predict where treatments, testing or anything else with the virus will be in five weeks.

But, for now at least, the Big Ten has gotten itself into the conversation. Expect the Pac 12 to join that plan any day now, which could at least given them a shot at playing the Rose Bowl in some form.

Don’t listen to their reasons, though.

The real reason is they were more scared of Mars and other lawyers than they are of the virus … and I don’t care what they say.

And, as everything else in college sports, when you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s always a safe bet somebody doesn’t want you to know.

Which is the real bottom line in this decision.

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