The Big Ten Conference won't play nonconference games in football or other sports this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority,” says the Big Ten said in a statement.
The league made the announcement on Thursday citing medical advice, but also added the caveat that that's only "if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports."
The league statement says “While Big Ten member institutions continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information to establish the best protocols for voluntary workouts on their campuses, in compliance with local and state regulations, the Conference is working with the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee to finalize Conference-wide protocols.”
The announcement came a day after the Ivy League Conference canceled sporting events until at least January.
The league left open the possibility of moving some seasons to the spring if outbreak is better controlled by then. The move could have ripple effects throughout the big business of college sports.
Football players in the Power Five conferences have already begun workouts for a season that starts on August 29.
The Ivy League decision affects not just football but soccer, field hockey, volleyball and cross country, as well as the fall portion of winter sports like basketball.
The league said it has not yet determined whether fall sports can be moved to the spring.