Big Ten Conference Officially Postpones Fall Sports, Spring a Possibility

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Photo Courtesy: Dave Wegiel

The Big Ten Conference officially announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision is not a surprise, especially since sources confirmed it was going to happen.

Now it is official.

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. The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring. Decisions regarding winter — including swimming — and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.

The conference stated it relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“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 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.

“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 conference stated it will continue to work with medical experts and governmental authorities to gather additional information, evaluate emerging data and technologies, and monitor developments regarding the pandemic to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.

5 comments

    • Caleb Reigle

      Melissa Sorenson im not sure how the big 10 would do it, but my conference has still allowed us to practice so i dont see why they couldn’t

    • Melissa Sorenson

      Caleb Reigle hope they can. I have a swimmer at Kentucky. Would love for her to keep practicing even if she can’t compete

    • Caleb Reigle

      Melissa Sorenson im a swimmer as well and i know I would have been absolutely crushed if we couldn’t practice