Big Ten conference presidents and chancellors voted Tuesday to postpone all fall sports seasons, including football, amid the coronavirus pandemic with the hopes of playing in the spring.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren told ESPN on Tuesday evening that when the conference released its schedule only six days ago, he reiterated the season might not happen — a message he has been consistent with.
“Because we announced a schedule does not mean we’re going to play,” he said. “As you gather information on a daily basis, that’s what day-to-day is. We have to still plan. By organizing schedules and making announcements, we made it very clear — I thought I was very clear in that it’s a day-to-day decision, and we’re going to do what’s best for the health and wellness of our student-athletes.”
Warren said the decision was based on the uncertainty that still surrounds the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a combination of where we are in our testing, where we are in our rapid testing, how is contact tracing actually defined?” he told ESPN. “There’s a whole litany of issues. We have incredible policies and procedures in place and our schools, we have 14 schools in 11 different states. People are doing the best they possibly can, but when you go from the acclimation period to getting ready to put on pads and contact, and you look at the overall numbers during this global pandemic as far as caseloads, they have not decreased, they have gone up.
“Trends have not improved, they’ve become worse. You add that up, and you’re getting ready to go into more formal practice, it’s just a level of not only concerns, but unknown risks are large. When you’re dealing with the health of human beings, it’s serious.”
Later Tuesday, Pac-12 presidents and chancellors followed the Big Ten’s lead and also voted to postpone the conference’s fall sports season, including football.