After days of speculation, the Big Ten Conference made it official today that all fall sports within the conference have been “postponed”. In its statement, the conference said 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.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren released a statement which included the following:
“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.
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 Big Ten is the first Power Five conference to reach this decision. The Mid-American Conference became the first FBS league to do so over the weekend, and the Mountain West Conference followed on Monday.
The postponement comes the day after Scott Frost and other league coaches and players advocated to stick with the plan to play this fall. But the Big Ten presidents have voted to postpone the season until spring.
The postponement also impacts the Nebraska volleyball, soccer and cross country teams. The status of winter and springs sports will continue to be evaluated.
Statement by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter, Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos and Nebraska Head Football Coach Scott Frost
“We are very disappointed in the decision by the Big Ten Conference to postpone the fall football season, as we have been and continue to be ready to play.
Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute safest place for our student athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures, and the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics.
We will continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the situation as it emerges. We hope it may be possible for our student athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”