The Big Ten will not play football in the fall due to health concerns related to the coronavirus. The conference will look at potentially playing in the spring.
The Big Ten becomes the first of major college football's "Power 5" conferences to put football on hold.
“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff," Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President, said.
“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. “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."
Big Ten Statement on 2020-21 Fall Seasonhttps://t.co/BCiRSzeAPL— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) August 11, 2020
"For many months, we had hoped that the return of fall collegiate sports might be an opportunity to restore some sense of normalcy and provide brighter moments for our university, our city and our state," University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in a joint statement. "Even so, today’s decision by the Big Ten to postpone the fall 2020 sports season is the correct one."
"This is a difficult moment for all of us – student-athletes, coaches, staff, students, fans and local communities – whose lives are intertwined with Badger Athletics in a variety of ways."https://t.co/xHMCMEyV1K— Wisconsin Badgers 😷 (@UWBadgers) August 11, 2020
The decision includes not only football, but all Big Ten fall sports, including volleyball and soccer.
The decision had been widely rumored over the weekend, but an official announcement stalled out after many prominent football coaches and players rallied against the move.
The conference will look at playing in the spring, though several players have voiced concern over how feasible a spring season would truly be.
Ain’t no way we play in the spring then turn around and play in the fall. Our bodies won’t last, stop getting people hopes up.— Faion Hicks (@Faion_Hicks) August 11, 2020