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Blame the FAA, not Michigan Wolverines or Big Ten for uniform shortage

The hottest of takes across the sports world on Thursday morning were all about the Big Ten screwing the Michigan Wolverines. I mean, how could they possibly be asked to play a real-life game on short travel and practice jerseys? 

Oh.the.shame.

The hot takes went something like this from Michael Spath, who hosts a morning radio show on WTKA in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines were forced in to playing with their practice uniforms thanks to the plane skidding off the runway the night before and the luggage not available to the team. Yet, somehow it is the Big Ten’s fault for everything here.

Even if you want to place blame on not having official uniforms to play in, the blame doesn’t rest with the conference office. It rests in the fact that FAA has rules and the rules don’t allow the release of anything in the plane until the investigation is complete.

That means all the jerseys and equipment packed away in the cargo hold of the plane is at the FAA’s investigative mercy at this point. It also means Nike didn’t have the time to get new game uniforms to the Wolverines in time for today.

It simply wasn’t going to happen. Maybe by tomorrow…but the rest isn’t realistic.

Sure, the Big Ten could’ve maybe given the Wolverines a few extra hours and switched around the playing times of the two games in the first session. But, would that have really changed much of anything?

What is really being said by some of the critics is that the Big Ten conference officials don’t give a crap about its players. They just won’t likely come out and say it.

It’s an absurd argument, so perhaps it is best left unsaid though. No conference in this country have gone as far as the Big Ten has in protecting players, listening to the student-athletes and advocating for necessary changes to the game for its players.

What exactly was the Big Ten supposed to do?

Hold up the entire tournament until Nike could fulfill a whole new order of jerseys in less than a day? Make sure that fans and players of all other teams were inconvenienced in the name of so-called “fairness” towards Michigan?

If so, that would’ve meant letting the Wolverines play the last game of the day, flip the two sessions of basketball around and make sure that ticketing became chaos. Oh, and if Michigan were to win against Illinois in the final game of Thursday night?

Yep, it would still have to play the opening game of the quarterfinals.

Talk about unfair.

The reality is, the FAA is the one to blame in this jersey “scandal.” Accidents happen in life, and sometimes there’s not a good answer to fix said accident from affecting the rest of life.

No one is going to change the FAA’s rules, and they certainly aren’t going to bend them just so a basketball team can look pretty playing in a game the next day.

Not the Big Ten. Not the Michigan athletic equipment room. Not Nike.

The best part of all of it? None of it really mattered to the players though. All Michigan did was come out firing on all cylinders and fire off an 11-2 run to start the game and end the first half up 40-29.

So much for the jerseys mattering, so much for the “lack of sleep” mattering or the horror of having to play in practice jerseys mattering either.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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