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Big Ten moving to conference-only schedule for all fall sports

The Big Ten announced it will move to a conference-only slate of games for all fall sports Thursday, according to a press release.

Details for each sport will be released at a later date, but it will have a big impact on Badger football this fall.

The Badgers are currently scheduled for three non-conference games: Saturday, Sept. 12 vs Southern Illinois, Saturday, Sept. 19 vs Appalachian State, and Saturday, Oct. 3 vs Notre Dame in a game that was supposed to be played at Lambeau Field.

"We all share in the disappointment about that and are exploring options to reschedule those games. We look forward to playing Notre Dame in 2021 at Soldier Field in Chicago and both programs are committed to rescheduling the game at Lambeau," said Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez.

"This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee," the league said in a press release.

In a letter sent to season ticket holders and donors Thursday afternoon, Alvarez said, "No matter how many home games we have this season, game day at Camp Randall Stadium will look different. We will not be able to accommodate a full stadium. Through ongoing discussions with campus and local health officials, we are developing our plan to provide a safe game day environment for everyone. Once we have more clarity regarding the football schedule and the capacity of Camp Randall Stadium we will be able to communicate our ticketing plans."

All summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities.

All Big Ten athletes who choose to opt out either during the summer or during the 2020-21 academic school year will still have their scholarship honored, the Big Ten said.

The decision comes on the heels of the Ivy League announcing they were cancelling all fall sports, and pushing winter sports to begin after Jan. 1.

Brad Hanson

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