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University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Update: August 11, 2020 at 3:16 p.m.

The Big Ten Conference has confirmed today that there will not be a fall sports season. It is the first of the college football's elite "Power Five" conferences to make the decision.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It’s looking like this fall will be a quiet one at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The Big Ten Conference, which includes the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, has reportedly decided not to move forward with college football this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While a formal announcement from the conference is not expected until Tuesday, Stateside spoke with Detroit Free Press sports reporter Chris Solari about what we know about the decision so far.

EMU's mascot, "Swoop."
Eastern Michigan University

The Mid-American Conference has become the first Division 1 league for college football to cancel its fall season because of COVID-19 concerns.

The conference includes Eastern, Western and Central Michigan Universities, as well as the University of Toledo.

It announced Saturday morning that all MAC schools will be postponing their fall sports programs hopefully until the spring.

Indiana Michigan football game
Creative Commons larrysphatpage

The Big Ten Wednesday became the first major college sports conference to announce its fall football schedule. But conference officials caution there is no certainty games will be played.

As protests over racial injustice in the U.S. continue, Major League Baseball is honoring an institution created 100 years ago because of its own racist past. The Negro Leagues showcased Black baseball players when they were banned from the big leagues.

MLB had to reschedule a celebration of the leagues' centennial originally set for June because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of Negro Leaguers left to celebrate is dwindling. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., estimates there are about 100 players still living.

Michigan State football
User: spartanjoe / Flickr

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has given the green light for some fall sports to get underway. Golf, tennis and cross country can begin competition August 19 and 21. The decision for football, volleyball and soccer isn't expected until August 20.

The experiences of professional and collegiate athletes bring up more questions about resuming competition than answers. John U. Bacon is Michigan Radio's sports commentator. He has been keeping an eye on professional and student athlete's return to the field.

ice hockey game at Yost Arena
Courtesy of Michigan Photography

The University of Michigan has put voluntary summer workouts for four sports on hold.

In a statement, the U of M athletic department says it made the decision because of positive COVID-19 test results and contact tracing protocols.

Michigan football stadium
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her decision to only reopen schools if public health officials agree it is safe.

What are the discussions happening between the Governor and the Republican led legislature regarding schools and education funding? Plus a conversation with former Detroit Institute of Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit employees about systemic racism in art institutions. Also, we spoke with the reporter who wrote about University of Michigan football star Jon Vaughn’s story of survival in “an ecosystem of abuse.”

Positive COVID-19 tests are affecting Michigan’s two largest college sports programs.

Michigan State University says all members of the East Lansing school’s football team will quarantine or isolate for 14 days. That's after a second staff member and one student-athlete tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

entrance to Comerica Park
Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

One prediction about the Tigers' 2020 season is a sure thing. It will be like no other season baseball fans have ever seen. 

Detroit will play its first game of the shortened campaign Friday night in Cincinnati against the Reds.   

In addition to a schedule cut from 162 games to 60, the Tigers will be playing under a host of new rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. They include limited seating in the dugouts, and a ban on spitting and high-fives.

Michigan radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says MLB is getting it right when it comes to safety.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

If there is football played in the Big House this fall, most Wolverine fans will find themselves having to watch the games from home.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced its preliminary football ticket plans Wednesday. Under the ticket plan, students and current season ticket holders would be given the opportunity to purchase single game tickets.   There will be no tickets available for the general public.

But whether there will be games played remains a question.

Paw Paw school district

After decades as the "Redskins,” Paw Paw schools will now be the Red Wolves.

On Monday, school board president Brent McNitt joined other school board members in voting unanimously to approve the new nickname and logo.

Indiana Michigan football game
Creative Commons larrysphatpage

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, a minor league baseball league is scheduled to begin play in West Michigan.

A dozen workers spent the weekend prepping the ballpark for Wednesday’s season opener between the Kalamazoo Growlers and Kalamazoo Mac Daddies.

empty baseball stadium
Simon Johnson

For a time with very few sporting events, it's been a very busy week for sports news. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon shared his thoughts on bringing back sports during the COVID-19 crisis and the Detroit Lions' ownership change.

Root, root, root for three northern Michigan baseball teams this summer

Jun 21, 2020
Baseball player holding baseballs
Jose Morales / Unsplash

A couple of brand new baseball teams will be calling northern Michigan home this summer.

The Great Lakes Resorters and the Northern Michigan Dune Bears will join the Traverse City Pit Spitters at Turtle Creek Stadium this year.

waving michigan flag
Courtesy Michigan Photography

Two University of Michigan student-athletes and one at Michigan State University have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent tests.

Between them, U-M and MSU have tested more than 300 student-athletes as the Big Ten schools prepare to return to athletic competition.

Two other MSU athletes previously tested positive for COVID-19.

U-M Athletic Director Warde Manuel says the testing is part of the Ann Arbor university’s plan to restart its athletic program.

john u. bacon running with friends
Christie Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon had Monday April 20, circled on his calendar for a long, long time. Before COVID-19 hit, that was the date of the Boston Marathon, and John was supposed to be in it. The marathon is on hold, so John came up with an alternative: he drew up his own 26.2 mile course in Ann Arbor and invited people to cheer him on – at a distance – over the weekend.

comerica park
Gary Shear / Unsplash

Comerica Park sat silent and Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers passed un-celebrated as the city grapples with the COVID-19 crisis. Major League Baseball postponed the start of its season, following the cues of several other pro sports leagues. Detroit-based reporter Bill Shea covers the business of sports for The Athletic. He talked to Stateside about the ripple effects empty sports venues could have on Detroit's downdown economy. 

wikimedia commons

Detroit Tiger great Al Kaline has died.  

He was 85.

In the pantheon of great Detroit baseball players, only one is known as “Mr. Tiger.” 

flickr user Darren Whitley / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The final whistle has blown for high school winter and spring sports in Michigan.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Friday it is cancelling the remainder of the 2019-20 Winter and Spring sports seasons. 

The association says the decision is in compliance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “state of disaster” directive closing K-12 schools and moving education online for the remainder of the school year. 

Commerica Park
MJCdetroit/Wikimedia Commons

The domino effect of the novel coronavirus has been on full display in the world of sports in past couple of days. After an NBA player tested positive for COVID-19, the league suspended its season. Since then, the NCAA has called off its men's and women's basketball tournaments. The NHL suspended its season. And Major League Baseball canceled the rest of spring training and has delayed Opening Day by at least two weeks.

Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou spoke with Jon Morosi about the ripple effects. Morosi covers baseball for MLB Network and Fox Sports. He also reports for the NHL Network and is a native Michigander.

makzhou / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

The Detroit Pistons says its players and staff are self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution. That's after the Pistons played the Utah Jazz on Saturday, March 7.

Two members of the Utah Jazz were diagnosed several days later with COVID-19.

basketball hoop with falling basketball
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Updated: Thursday, March 12 at 4:29 p.m.:

The NCAA has now canceled both the men's and women's basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring tournaments. 

Additionally, the Big Ten Conference has now canceled all conference and non-conference competitions for all spring sports through the end of the academic year, including NCAA tournaments and competitions. This also includes all sports that compete beyond the academic year. 

Minnie Forbes sitting on a couch
Doug Tribou / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids isn't a big-league baseball town, but a living part of baseball history calls it home. 

Minnie Forbes is the last surviving owner of a Negro Leagues baseball team. She owned the Detroit Stars from 1956 to 1958. She was also one of just a handful of female owners.

Mel Tucker in East Lansing
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Last week Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio announced he was retiring. The news wasn’t surprising, but the timing was.

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Today on Stateside, we're digging deeper into the hiring of Mel Tucker, his around $30 million compensation package, and the process governing sports hiring at Michigan's Big 3 schools. Plus, two African American artists in Detroit talk about finding a canvas big enough to tell real stories.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University has a new football coach. The school announced Wednesday that Mel Tucker will replace Mark Dantonio next season.

Dantonio retired from MSU last week after 13 seasons with the school. Tucker was previously the head coach at the University of Colorado.

Mark Dantonio at a podium
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Today on Stateside, it's the end of an era for Michigan State fooball under head coach Mark Dantonio. Plus, the city of Detroit's new chief storyteller talks about his plan for making sure the city's narrative reflects its residents.  

Mark Dantonio at a podium
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

This time of year, college football fans are often buzzing about incoming recruits. But in East Lansing this week, the big news was departure. After 13 seasons, Mark Dantonio retired as Michigan State's football coach. There are questions about the timing of his announcement and the future of the program.

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