Big Ten, PAC-12 officially cancel fall football season

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 07: Nicholas Petit-Frere #78 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after winning the Big Ten Championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(WEHT) – It’s official: there will be no Big Ten football in 2020. The Big Ten Conference announced the decision to cancel the 2020 fall sports season on Tuesday afternoon, with hopes to play in the spring.

The postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“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.”

Statement from the Big Ten Conference

The news comes one day after one day after Monday’s bombshell report that the majority of the presidents had already decided to pull the plug on the 2020 season.

Indiana University University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying “as difficult as it is to absorb, I am confident it is the right decision.”

In the coming days, IU Athletics says they will be in contact with ticket holders and fans with more information as it becomes available.

PAC-12 Follows Suit, Cancels Fall Football

Shortly after the Big Ten’s announcement on Tuesday, the PAC-12 announced they too have voted unanimously to cancel football in 2020.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

PAC-12 Statement

Sources say the PAC-12 vote to cancel fall sports was unanimous. Officials say they are hopeful to play in the spring. Also of note, all sports competition is delayed until January 2021, which currently includes the start of basketball season.

Officials with the ACC and SEC have indicated they plan to proceed with seasons this fall, but it’s unclear whether the Big Ten’s decision will change those plans. In total as of Tuesday, 53 of 130 FBS programs will not play this fall season. The only remaining conferences who have not announced a season cancellation are the ACC, Big 12, SEC, AAC, C-USA, and Sun Belt conferences.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.

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(This story was originally published on August 11, 2020)

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