B1G releases official statement on 2020-21 fall sports
The B1G has announced that, if fall sports are permitted to continue based on medical advice from experts, those athletic programs will play a conference-only schedule for the 2020-21 academic year. The league sent out a statement on Thursday.
Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic first reported the news that the B1G would move to a conference-only schedule for the 2020 football season. Shortly after, the B1G released its own statement.
The news comes as the country continues to battle the ongoing COIVD-19 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,” the statement read.
“To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.
“This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.”
No final decisions have been made regarding scheduling, or if fall sports will even continue considering the current climate.
The B1G also stated that “Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team.”
More information is expected to be revealed at a later time.