Big Ten, Pac-12 postpone fall football to the spring due to coronavirus

The college sports world began making decisions Tuesday about whether or not their fall seasons would be held amid the coronavirus pandemic. Leaders from college sports’ “Power Five” conferences discussed postponing the football season and other fall sports over the weekend as the U.S. crossed five million confirmed cases of COVID-19.The Power Five conferences consist of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference.Big TenOfficials in the Big Ten decided Tuesday to postpone their fall sports seasons until the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.The Big Ten presidents voted to postpone fall athletics with hopes of playing in the spring.“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 fall sports included in the postponement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The move comes six days after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State had released a revised conference-only schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.The conference says it 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. “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 Big Ten touts itself as the oldest college athletic conference in the country, dating back to 1896 when it was called the Western Conference, and its schools have been playing football ever since. It became the Big Ten in 1918 and grew into a football powerhouse.The 14 Big Ten schools span from Maryland and Rutgers on the East Coast to Iowa and Nebraska out west. Not only has it been one of the most successful conferences on the field but off the field it has become one of the wealthiest.The Big Ten, with its lucrative television network, distributes about $50 million per year to its members.Pac-12Shortly after the Big Ten’s announcement, the Pac-12 announced it would postpone its fall sports to the spring.“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.” Members of the Pac-12 include UCLA, USC, Oregon and Stanford. Three smaller conferences cancel seasonsMeanwhile, three smaller athletic conferences said they’re suspending fall sports competition.The Mountain West Conference on Monday announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports.The last four of 10 schools in the Colonial Athletic Association conference announced Monday they won’t play because of the pandemic.”As the national picture came into focus over the last week, it became clear that Fall competition would not be possible,” James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in a statement.Saturday, the Mid-American Conference called off competition. The MAC is the first conference from NCAA’s top-tier Division I Football Bowl Subdivision to postpone its football season. In mid-March, as the pandemic was building, the NCAA canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.SEC, ACC hold off on postponing Both the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coastal Conference announced they were not joining the Pac-12 and Big Ten on postponing their fall athletics.”I look forward to learning more about the factors that led to the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols fora safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and career for our student-athletes every day.”The SEC statement came minutes after the ACC’s echoed a similar sentiment. “The ACC will continue to make decisions based on medical advice, inclusive of our Medical Advisory Group, local and state health guidelines, and do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions,” the statement on their Twitter account read. “The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administrated on our 15 campuses. We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well. We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves.”CNN contributed to this report.

The college sports world began making decisions Tuesday about whether or not their fall seasons would be held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders from college sports’ “Power Five” conferences discussed postponing the football season and other fall sports over the weekend as the U.S. crossed five million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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The Power Five conferences consist of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference.

Big Ten

Officials in the Big Ten decided Tuesday to postpone their fall sports seasons until the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Big Ten presidents voted to postpone fall athletics with hopes of playing in the spring.

“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 fall sports included in the postponement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

The move comes six days after the conference that includes historic programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State had released a revised conference-only schedule that it hoped would help it navigate a fall season with potential COVID-19 disruptions.

The conference says it 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.

“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 Big Ten touts itself as the oldest college athletic conference in the country, dating back to 1896 when it was called the Western Conference, and its schools have been playing football ever since. It became the Big Ten in 1918 and grew into a football powerhouse.

The 14 Big Ten schools span from Maryland and Rutgers on the East Coast to Iowa and Nebraska out west. Not only has it been one of the most successful conferences on the field but off the field it has become one of the wealthiest.

The Big Ten, with its lucrative television network, distributes about $50 million per year to its members.

Pac-12

Shortly after the Big Ten’s announcement, the Pac-12 announced it would postpone its fall sports to the spring.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

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Members of the Pac-12 include UCLA, USC, Oregon and Stanford.

Three smaller conferences cancel seasons

Meanwhile, three smaller athletic conferences said they’re suspending fall sports competition.

The Mountain West Conference on Monday announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports.

The last four of 10 schools in the Colonial Athletic Association conference announced Monday they won’t play because of the pandemic.

“As the national picture came into focus over the last week, it became clear that Fall competition would not be possible,” James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said in a statement.

Saturday, the Mid-American Conference called off competition. The MAC is the first conference from NCAA’s top-tier Division I Football Bowl Subdivision to postpone its football season.

In mid-March, as the pandemic was building, the NCAA canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

SEC, ACC hold off on postponing

Both the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coastal Conference announced they were not joining the Pac-12 and Big Ten on postponing their fall athletics.

“I look forward to learning more about the factors that led to the Big Ten and Pac-12 leadership to take these actions today,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “I remain comfortable with the thorough and deliberate approach that the SEC and our 14 members are taking to support a healthy environment for our student-athletes. We will continue to further refine our policies and protocols fora safe return to sports as we monitor developments around COVID-19 in a continued effort to support, educate and career for our student-athletes every day.”

The SEC statement came minutes after the ACC’s echoed a similar sentiment.

“The ACC will continue to make decisions based on medical advice, inclusive of our Medical Advisory Group, local and state health guidelines, and do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions,” the statement on their Twitter account read. “The safety of our students, staff and overall campus communities will always be our top priority, and we are pleased with the protocols being administrated on our 15 campuses. We will continue to follow our process that has been in place for months and has served us well. We understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information and the landscape evolves.”

CNN contributed to this report.