Big Ten Officially Cancels 2020 Football Season

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It was dreaded but expected.

The Big Ten conference has announced the cancellation of the 202o Big Ten conference football season as a result of the Corona virus pandemic.

Slim hopes had remained that the season could be played,  but in a release from the league office today the football  season was officially called off the season.

What remains to be seen is if any of the member-institutions of the league can yet salvage some sort of football season by affiliating with another conference this year. Rumors have been rampant that Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska have all quietly made overtures to the Big 12 to compete in that league this year.

Below it the full text of the Big Ten release.

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference 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.

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference 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 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. 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 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 and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.

The Big Ten Conference is proud of its 14 world-class research institutions and has leveraged their resources and expertise to address this pandemic over the past five months. The Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee have engaged in extensive research and sharing of materials and conversations with federal, state and local government agencies, and professional and international sports organizations in order to track and better understand the daily updates surrounding this pandemic. Their advice and counsel have been invaluable as they have worked tirelessly over the past several months in their efforts to create and maintain a safe environment for athletics.

The Big Ten Conference 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.

9 Responses

  1. We buckeye fans looked forward to this season’s football. We were the pick to win the national title. The parents wanted their sons to play. The players wanted to play. None of them took the option open to them to opt out of the season. All the precautions were in place. The coaches wanted to play. All the big ten teams and their coaches wanted to play with only a few players opting out. Young strong healthy athletes are extremely resistant to Covid and would only have minimal symptoms if they contracted the disease. So why did the big ten decide to not play this season? There would be a financial hardship to the school and the surrounding restaurants. Ohio stadium has a capacity of well over 100,000 and they planned to seat from 25,000 to 50,000 to enable social distancing. A clue came when I was watching the big ten network this morning and an official said “unfortunately this has become political”. Could it be that the Democrats, in position of authority, frightened the administrators into thinking the players would be in great danger? Perhaps they didn’t want Trump to have his wish to see college football or could it have been a desire to weaken the economy further? The Democrats want a weak economy which would enhance their chance of winning the elections in November which is all important to them.

  2. I suspect some teams across the country will start the season, I doubt any will finish. One need only look at MLB to see how difficult it is to maintain any integrity of schedule without the bubble concept used by the NBA and NHL. It will be even more difficult with a close contact sport like football. I know players want to play, coaches want to coach, and fans want to support the teams. IMO there is no sport as exciting as college football. I am saddened but reality. Unless they can figure out a bubble process, get ready to kiss the NFL goodbye for now as well.

  3. This is going to kill our recruiting for years to come if the 3 major conferencesplay this season. Wait and see how many of our prize recruits recommit by this terrible decision.

  4. I would have preferred if that they would have canceled or played… this postponement only causes more problems and issues… and I think they did it so that teams like OSU won’t try to compete during the fall season. B1G BS.

    It seems like they postponed due health concerns related to heart issues that Covid can cause in less than 5% of the people who get the virus… And I get it, no one wants to see someone drop dead of a heart attack on the field. But I don’t see how that goes away in the spring.

    They should have grown a pair and canceled the season if they felt strongly enough about it.

  5. what an asinine decision that coiuld care less about facts, the players, coaches, families, etc…Mr. Warren and anyone else deciding this need fired ASAP. Ridiculous and wrong

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb and conclude that Warren will not be the most popular B1G Commish ever.

    A gutless wonder as far as I’m concerned.

    If the SEC and/or ACC and/or Big XII get a season in, I am going to completely lose my ****.

    1. Don’t worry, those conferences definitely will not get a season in, or anything close to one.

      1. Even if they try, they will do more than the B1G did. Sometimes you have to surrender, and you can do that honorably ,but when you do it without a fight, well, that’s gutless.

  7. Bull. We know the facts. Who. Told them to cancel

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