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Big Ten announces that the fall season is postponed

The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that the fall season is officially postponed, saying that the league is now evaluating the possibility of teams playing in the spring.
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 1:48 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that the fall season is officially postponed, saying that the league is now evaluating the possibility of teams playing in the spring.

The Big Ten presidents and chancellors met this morning at 9:30 a.m. and announced the decision shortly after 2 p.m.

According to a statement, all regular-season contests and Big Ten championships and tournaments, are postponed, citing health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

“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 in a release.

According to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren:

“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... 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.”

- Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren

Warren explained on the Big Ten Network what changed since Wednesday.

“This is too much uncertainty now for us to feel comfortable to go forward.”

UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said in a release that they support Big Ten’s decision regarding postponing the fall season.

“There is simply too much unknown risk for us to proceed with the confidence we need to launch our sports seasons. At the end of the day, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our top priority. Nothing is more important,” they wrote.

“Just a hollow feeling,” Alvarez said during a press conference Tuesday. “This is going to be probably the toughest fall I’ve ever gone through.”

“We kept grasping for answers, trying to get those answers. Seeing if there’s anyway we can work it out but there ended up being some things we just couldn’t answer,” Alvarez said.

The University of Wisconsin began their fall camp for football on Monday and continued to practice on Tuesday as well while awaiting an official announcement from the conference.

Badgers head coach Paul Chryst said he met with the team after the announcement was made saying, “the only thing that today’s announcement gave was certainty.”

Nebraska’s Scott Frost spoke to the media on Monday, sharing how he wants to coach and his players want to play. Frost added if that does not happen in the Big Ten, Nebraska will search elsewhere to make that happen.

"Our University is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is." Frost said over Zoom.

Penn State head coach, James Franklin took to twitter to also voice how he will fight for a fall season for his team.

“While we agree there is much uncertainty; the best decision right now isn’t to cancel the season.” Franklin shared in a statement on twitter.

The Pac 12 CEOs are scheduled to meet later on Tuesday, with their decision reportedly heavily influenced by the Big Ten. The Big 12 athletic directors and presidents will meet Tuesday evening.

All three conferences are expected to vote and announce a decision to either cancel or delay the start of the fall sports season.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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