CHICAGO (CBS) — The Big Ten Conference has opted to cancel fall sports due to COVID-19.
With this decision, the Big Ten has become the first Power Five conference to decide not to play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Big Ten football coaches — including Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Penn State’s James Franklin and Nebraska’s Scott Frost — publicly advocated for playing the 2020 season on Monday. However, their pleas and those of Big Ten players were not enough to change the collective minds of Big Ten leaders. Earlier this year, the Big Ten opted to schedule only conference games.
Big Ten Statement on 2020-21 Fall Seasonhttps://t.co/BCiRSzeAPL
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) August 11, 2020
“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.
“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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 fall sports included in this announcement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.