The Big Ten will postpone the 2020 fall football season with the possibility of playing in the spring, per Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.
Sources: Big Ten is announcing that the fall is cancelled. League will attempt to play in the spring.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 11, 2020
The Big Ten confirmed Thamel’s reports at 3 p.m. Aug. 11, announcing the postponement of all fall sports.
“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, who is chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern’s president, in a statement.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren emphasized the importance of the health and safety of the conference’s student-athletes.
“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,” 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.”
This news came one day after reports surfaced that the Big Ten was planning to cancel the fall football season on Aug. 11, which were followed by conflicting reports that said the schools had not yet voted to cancel the season.
Addressing these reports, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was on ESPN’s College Football Live on Aug. 10, where he discussed the possibility of canceling the season and how he felt like that would be a mistake at the time.
“Well, it certainly caught me off guard with the schedule out last week, and the schedule was designed to have some flexibility,” Day said. “And I just think that our job is to create the safest environment possible for these young men. And then present it to them and allow the players and their parents and their coaches to then decide if it’s safe enough. But because this schedule has provided some flexibility, I think we need to certainly not cancel the season.
“And there are two different opportunities: September 26th and the first week of October, there are opportunities to start the season then and that’s the way the schedule was designed. I think to do that right now [cancel the season] would be a mistake and I think we need to take some time to re-evaluate some of these issues.”
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