Citing ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Ten on Tuesday announced a postponement of all fall sports in 2020. Conference officials claim they relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee in making this decision.
“The decision announced today by the Big Ten Conference was made in the best interests of the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes,” said Maryland Athletic Director Damon Evans. “I know that for our student-athletes, returning to campus in the Fall is synonymous with the opportunity to compete at the highest level in the sport they love. Not being able to compete this fall is disappointing for all of us, but I have every confidence they will remain resilient and strong in these trying times. We will continue to support every one of them and will work diligently with university leadership, local and state officials, and the conference to make every effort to provide competitive opportunities for our 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,” 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. ”
The decision comes less than a week after the conference released the football schedule for 2020. It also comes a day after head football coaches (Jim Harbaugh, Ryan Day, James Franklin, and Scott Frost) as well as many players took to social media to make a case for playing in the fall.