Big Ten Conference Announces Postponement of Fall Sports
The Big Ten Conference
announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season today (Tuesday)
including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and
The statement from the
conference says the decision was made due to ongoing health and safety concerns
related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference statement says it relied on
the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging
Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.
“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,” according to
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 fall sports 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.
University of Wisconsin
Athletic Director Barry Alvarez and U-W Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a
joint statement that the decision “is a difficult moment for all of us . . .
whose lives are intertwined with Badger Athletics in a variety of ways.” Alvarez
and Blank went on to say they are “particularly heartbroken for the
student-athletes and coaches who put so much time and effort into preparing for
competition,” and that they are still hopeful they can “find a path forward” so
the fall seasons can be played in the spring.