The Big Ten will skip the fall season.
The collegiate outfit announced on Tuesday its decision to cancel its football season, but it will attempt to play in the spring. It’s the first Power 5 conference to decide its fate, with the Pac-12 expected to follow suit. The Big Ten cited medical advice in announcing 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. “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.
“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The decision comes after an 11th-hour scramble to save the athletic season, most notably stemming from football players and coaches trying to have their season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Soccer, cross country, field hockey and women’s volleyball are other fall sports the Big Ten canceled.