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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)

“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?”

President 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.”

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Lightning celebrate Stanley Cup title with boat parade

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrated their Stanley Cup title with a boat parade and ceremonies Wednesday at Raymond James Stadium.

The boat parade featured forward Alex Killorn on a jet-ski with Steven Stamkos riding on the back as they held up the Stanley Cup and did laps around the boats in the Hillsborough River. The parade was followed by a public trophy celebration at the stadium with a capped attendance of 16,000 people.

“We’re excited to share this with Tampa,” Killorn said. “I know they weren’t here throughout the series and in the bubble, but this is our time to enjoy it with them because (the fans) are a big part of this team.”

Among the highlights of the celebration was a video package of the Lightning’s playoff run and a congratulatory video message from ESPN broadcaster and Lightning season-ticket holder Dick Vitale.

The players returned to Tampa on Tuesday after being in the NHL’s “bubble” in Toronto and Edmonton for the past 65 days. They were greeted at the airport by their families and held a private on-ice ceremony for friends and family.

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said that the circumstances in which the Lightning won the Stanley Cup make it an even more impressive feat than winning in a normal year.

“This was not only a hockey Stanley Cup,” Vinik said. “This was a mental Stanley Cup to get through that period of time. Kudos to them and kudos to their families for being so supportive. That’s a long time away from home and I don’t think any of us can appreciate how tough that was.”

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