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Big Ten postponing fall sports season, hoping to play in spring

The Big Ten is postponing their fall sports season, and hoping to play in the spring.

The decision was first reported by Yahoo.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.

The Big Ten becomes the first Power 5 conference to decide against playing sports this fall.

In response to the decision, Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said, "For many months, we had hoped that the return of fall collegiate sports might be an opportunity to restore some sense of normalcy and provide brighter moments for our university, our city and our state.  Even so, today’s decision by the Big Ten to postpone the fall 2020 sports season is the correct one."

“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 fall sports included in this announcement 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.

Alvarez said the university is hopeful the school will be able to complete the winter and spring seasons.

"Today’s decision affects fall sports only, and we are still hopeful that we can find a path forward so that their seasons can be played in spring 2021. There are many obstacles to overcome for this to happen, but we will begin planning in case that is possible.  At this point, no decisions have been made regarding winter sports."

“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.”

Click here to read the official statement from the Big Ten.

Brad Hanson

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