Big Ten Conference presidents and chancellors voted on Tuesday to cancel the league’s fall sports seasons, including football, men’s and women’s cross-country, field hockey, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.
The Conference relied on the input of its own Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases, as well as the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, in making the decision.
“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 statement regarding the vote. “It became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.”
The Conference will attempt to hold competitions for the spring season, although it is not clear if a coronavirus vaccine will be available by then.
Coronavirus has severely curtailed the ability of sports leagues to function. Major League Baseball is currently holding its season without spectators at stadiums, and outbreaks have temporarily halted games for the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins.
President Trump, meanwhile, has been a vocal supporter of college athletes who wish to play the fall season.
“The president would very much like to see college football safely resume their sport … they work their whole lives for this moment and he’d like to see [these athletes] live out their dreams,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday.