Big Ten Officially Postpones Fall Sports, Could Play Football In The Spring

The Big Ten has become the first Power-5 conference to postpone all fall sports, with the possibility of competition in the spring semester.

Reports yesterday suggested the Big Ten was leaning towards postponing their fall sports – including football – amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. One report from radio host Dan Patrick even said Big Ten presidents had already voted 12-2 in favor of canceling the fall season. Though a Big Ten spokesman quickly denied that a vote had taken place, the conference did ultimately decide to scrap the fall season a day later.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said the Big Ten Council’s Chair, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. The Big Ten press release says the conference’s decision was “based on multiple factors” and relied on medical advice from the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

The decision will end fall seasons for football along with men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

“The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of playing options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring,” the press release reads. “Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.”

Men’s & women’s swimming & diving are winter sports in the Big Ten. There’s no word yet on what the fall sport decision will mean for swimming programs, which typically start training and competing by September.

The Big Ten becomes the first of the Power-5 conferences to cancel or postpone its fall season. Reports yesterday indicated that the Pac-12 was also considering canceling or postponing its season, while the Big 12, ACC, and SEC appear to be moving forward with their seasons as scheduled.

Several other Division I schools and conferences have already made changes to football or to all fall sports. The FBS is the highest level of college football, made up of the Power-5 conferences, Group of Five conferences, and several independents. The Big Ten (Power-5), Mountain West (Group of Five), and Mid-American (Group of Five) conferences have already scrapped fall competition, along with two of seven independents (UConn and UMass).

That leaves the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC in the Power-5, along with the AAC, C-USA and Sun Belt in the Group of Five. Notre Dame, BYU, New Mexico State, Liberty and Army West Point are the remaining independents still proceeding with football in the fall for the time being.

Here’s a list of the programs we’ve reported on so far:

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Woke Stasi
10 months ago

The Big Ten is exhibiting the leadership model of 2020: be scared of everything. If I were an elite D1 football player, CV19 would be down the list of things I feared after: (1) long-term concussion effects, (2) short-term concussion effects, (3) a “Daryl Stingly spinal cord” type injury, (4) chronic knee issues, and so on. These young men have chosen to play football and have already accepted many more dangerous risks than CV19. I can think of few safer group settings than an elite D1 program where the athletes already receive around the clock medical care, testing, and attention.

Woke Stasi
Reply to  Woke Stasi
10 months ago

Coach Ryan Day’s message to his players this afternoon. Sad day for the players.

Reply to  Woke Stasi
10 months ago

At this very moment the vote board on this comment is a dead heat tie at 54. Who’s gonna win? Who would have ever guessed that the most competitive environment of 2020 is the comments section?

10 months ago

I think it’s unlikely that it is, but in the event that this is the wrong decision the Big 10 could dissolve. All it would take is for Ohio State to leave over something like this. Would be like the Big East exodus.

Reply to  Riccardo
10 months ago

Big 10 is more than football, you know? And more than Ohio State.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  PsychoDad
10 months ago

The Ohio State? 🙂

10 months ago

College presidents: it’s not safe to play football and we don’t want the liability of a hundred kids.

Same college presidents: but it is safe to assume the liability of thousands of kids on campus, if we can charge them exorbitant room and board.

What a tremendous gaslighting job.

Justin Thompson
10 months ago

It’s bad news for sure, but hopefully they have a Spring season. I’m having hard time thinking through all the scenarios that will be impacted by that.

Reply to  Justin Thompson
10 months ago

They’re not having a spring season.

Texas A&M Swim Fan
Reply to  coach
10 months ago

Agree completely!!

Reply to  Justin Thompson
10 months ago

There’s not going to be a Spring season unless this country gets serious about stopping the spread of the virus.

Hot Take
10 months ago

I definitely see what you are saying, and agree, but I think they are different to an extent.

For allowing students on campus, the students are assuming that risk. Most Universities, mine included, allows an option for virtual-only classes, and even without taking the option, most students have ~maybe~ one class that is in person. This is from my experience only.

For athletics, the university is paying the athletes (via scholarship only..) to play the sport. With having sports, there is a lot of pressure on the athlete from (1) coaches and (2) teammates to play. If (God forbid) a regular student gets sick and does not recover, the student assumed that risk. If an athlete gets sick,… Read more »

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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