Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway described President Donald Trump’s involvement in the push to start the Big Ten football season as “cheap politics.”

Speaking to NJ Advance Media, Holloway said Trump’s involvement in the Big Ten’s situation will not impact his decision on when Big Ten sports should resume. Trump spoke last week with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren in a 20-minute conversation both sides described as productive.

The president has tweeted several times about his desire for the Big Ten season to begin and several governors who could be standing in the way. During a campaign stop Thursday in Michigan, Trump told reporters, “We want to see Big Ten football. We hope it’s coming back. The players are missing a big opportunity. They have some of the best college players in the country.”

Holloway, who took over as Rutgers’ president in July after serving as provost at Northwestern, said he isn’t enamored with Trump’s involvement.

“I mean, it’s just cheap politics,” he told NJ Advance Media. “I want that person to be paying attention to matters of national security and national importance. This does not rise to that level — not for a half-second. And even if it was a president that I was completely in love with that was doing this, I’d still think it would be cheap politics.”

Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted Aug. 11 to postpone the fall sports season, including football, because of concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. Holloway was among the 11 presidents and chancellors who elected to postpone, and told NJ Advance Media that his position won’t change until the COVID-19 situation improves, including in Big Ten states such as Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska.

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