Earlier today the Big Ten released several rule changes for tomorrow’s Wrigleyville Classic between the Northwestern Wildcats and Illinois Fighting Illini at Wrigley Field.
This afternoon, Cubs president Crane Kenney released a statement regarding these rule changes, stating, in part: "The Chicago Cubs are surprised by the Big Ten’s last-minute statement regarding changes for tomorrow’s Northwestern-Illinois football game at Wrigley Field. … since the concept of this game was first discussed more than a year ago, and all parties have gone to complete lengths to ensure student-athlete safety for this contest. The essential item in our negotiations to host the football game at Wrigley Field was obtaining approval of both universities and the Big Ten for the field dimensions as related to player safety issues. … Last week, a Big Ten official performed an on-site visit at Wrigley Field, participated in a field walk-thru and raised no issue with the field dimensions, painted lines and boundaries previously approved by the Big Ten. … This game would not have been scheduled if it did not pass the strict and meticulous standards of everyone involved, a process that began more than a year ago. … We have reached out to the Big Ten to further discuss the playing field."
Presuming that last sentence is true and the Cubs and the Big Ten are having further discussions, it is possible that the rules might be changed back and regular college football rules could be in force for Saturday’s game. If anything further changes, we will post information here as soon as it’s available.