After a weekend filled with rumors and uncertainty, the Big Ten conference officially announced Tuesday it would be postponing all fall sports, including football.
In a statement, commissioner Kevin Warren noted the impetus for postponement stems from a desire to protect student-athletes amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic:
“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.
“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…”
Other sports postponed include men’s and women’s soccer, cross country and women’s volleyball, among others.
The league had previously indicated it would play a conference-only football schedule, though that has obviously become null and void.
Momentum for postponement gained a ton of steam over the weekend. Commissioners of the “Power 5” conferences held an emergency meeting Sunday to determine the status of fall sports, and the Big Ten was purportedly advancing towards postponement even then.
Numerous athletes from the “Power 5”–including star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence–subsequently released statements suggesting their desire to play this fall.
It remains to be seen whether other conferences will follow the Big Ten in its decision.