Officials from The Big Ten on Thursday said it will play a conference-only season for all fall sports, including football.
Other sports impacted by the decision, made because of the coronavirus pandemic, are women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, and men’s and women’s soccer, The Big Ten said in a statement.
“If the Conference is able to participate in fall sports based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports,” the Big Ten said in its statement. “By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”
Reverting to a conference-only schedule would eliminate long-distance travel for most schools and will ensure that teams can be tested for the coronavirus universally, ESPN reported.
Big Ten presidents and athletic directors discussed their options during a conference call earlier this week, the sports network reported.
The conference-only schedule means that in football, Michigan’s season-opener at Washington on Sept. 5 will not be played, CBS Sports reported. Other football games canceled include Ohio State’s trip to Oregon on Sept. 12 and the annual Iowa-Iowa State game. Wisconsin’s game Oct. 3 vs. Notre Dame in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Penn State’s game at Virginia Tech also will be scrapped, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
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