Big Ten Postpones Football, Fall Sports Due to COVID-19

Big 10
Getty Images/Andy Lyons

Aug. 11 (UPI) — The Big Ten Conference on Tuesday postponed fall sports — including football — for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference is the first among the Power-Five conferences to announce a postponement of fall sports due to COVID-19. The ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 are expected to announce fall plans later this week.

Men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball are the other fall sports that Big Ten schools will postpone.

Those schools are Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Rutgers.

Big Ten officials said they will “evaluate a number of other options” for the sports, which include potential spring seasons. The conference is evaluating a timeline for winter and spring sports seasons.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a news release.

“As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”

The Big Ten announced conference-only fall football schedules Wednesday, but said issuing the schedules did “not guarantee that competition will occur.”

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