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Big Ten officially postpones fall sports, including football, with hopes of playing in spring
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Big Ten officially postpones fall sports, including football, with hopes of playing in spring

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LINCOLN — The Big Ten on Tuesday chose to postpone its 2020 college football season until at least spring 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the gathering concern around keeping players healthy.

The Big Ten became the first major football conference to postpone its season. All other fall sports — volleyball, cross country, and women’s soccer at Nebraska — will be postponed, too. The status of winter and springs sports will continue to be evaluated.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, who chairs the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors.

 Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said the league understands student-athletes will be disappointed.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Warren said. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.

“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.”

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