Kevin Warren sends letter to B1G ADs regarding status of fall sports, training camps
In a letter to B1G athletic directors on Thursday evening, conference commissioner Kevin Warren reiterated the point that, if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic provides too many challenges for fall sports, the league simply won’t play until it’s safe.
Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors shared some of the notes that Warren sent out to athletic directors in the B1G recently. While the commissioner is still hopeful everything can move forward with abbreviated schedules, there’s still a lot of uncertainty at this time.
In the letter, Warren and Chris Kratochvil, the chair of the conference’s task force for emerging infectious diseases, state that they will make a decision on whether or not preseason camps can continue as planned “within the next 5 days.”
From Eleven Warriors:
“We will not, and cannot, proceed with preseason camp until we are certain that we can do so safely and that will depend, in part, on testing,” the letter states. “Once we have everything in place to execute our testing protocols effectively, including the appropriate number of tests secured for all fall sports, we can make a decision as to whether preseason camp will begin as currently scheduled.”
Per Thursday’s letter, the Big Ten remains “hopeful to compete this fall in men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball, understanding that we must operate in a manner that seeks to address the challenges that COVID-19 presents.” The letter also states, though, that health and safety remains the conference’s “primary focus,” and that fall sports could still be canceled if the conference is not confident they can be played safely.
“If we determine as a Conference that it is not prudent to compete in the fall of 2020, we will not do so, much like our decision in March 2020 to cancel the Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis,” the letter states. “Our final decision will be rooted in guidance from medical experts and in consultation with institutional leadership, student-athletes, coaches and appropriate federal, state, and local authorities.”
“We believe that the implementation of these protocols will help us mitigate risk as we seek to safely resume athletic activity and competition,” the letter states.
On Thursday, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune said that a schedule release for the football season could come as early as Friday. While that still might be the case, there’s also a chance that decisions are not made until after the weekend.
Greenstein said that the B1G is looking at a 10-game conference-only model with games potentially starting on Sept. 5.