Big Ten And Pac-12: No Sports In The Fall

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As had been rumored since Monday, the Big Ten announced on Tuesday afternoon that they will not hold sports in the fall.  As of now they plan to push back football season and other fall sports until the spring of 2021.  The Pac-12 followed suit with a similar announcement at a 4:30pm EST press conferences.

“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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.”

Some institutions were disappointed with the Big Ten’s decision, and had pushed for fall sports to go on as planned, or at the very least to be pushed back to a slightly later start.  Nebraska and Ohio State both drafted responses to the announcement from the Big Ten.  Nebraska has gone so far as to declare that they are open to other opportunities outside the Big Ten.

The cancellation of fall sports by two of the Power 5 conferences certainly shifts the momentum towards there being no fall sports at all in 2020.  As of now, the ACC and the SEC remain dedicated to playing, while the Big 12 appears to be on the fence.  If the Big 12 goes the way of the Big Ten and Pac-12, it is thought that it would be very difficult for the ACC and the SEC to continue on with plans to play in the fall.

As of the time of this writing, there have been no public comments by the ACC, SEC or Big 12 about the announcements by the Big Ten and Pac-12, but an ACC source had this to say to national college football writer Pete Thamel…

“We’re further away from pulling out now than we were a few days ago. I think we’re more steady in the boat in sticking with our plan. Given the conditions of COVID, we know that can change quickly.  The whole purpose of delaying the season was to navigate the return of students. We deserve the opportunity to get to that hurdle and re-assess once that happens.”

The ACC is moving behind the advice of its medical advisory team, which is chaired by Duke’s Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist.  As of now, Dr. Wolfe believes that schools should be able to play sports in the fall, providing the proper precautions are taken.

“We believe we can mitigate it down to a level that makes everyone safe,” Wolfe told the Sports Business Daily. “Can we safely have two teams meet on the field? I would say yes. Will it be tough? Yes. Will it be expensive and hard and lots of work? For sure. But I do believe you can sufficiently mitigate the risk of bringing COVID onto the football field or into the training room at a level that’s no different than living as a student on campus.”

You can read the entire article about Wolfe’s comments here, and it gives a good idea about the advice ACC Commissioner John Swofford and the school presidents are getting from their medical team.

We’ll have more on this situation as it develops.

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26 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Maybe the ACC and ESPN can sponsor a study abroad program and send all the football teams to Germany and follow onto soccer’s Champions League tournament with the ACC regular season – they can come back in December for bowls/playoff. COVID may have “disappeared” by then.

  2. Looks like President Sands supports both students coming back and football. VT has advanced fast testing capabilities as well as a thought-out policy on class participation. I tend to trust Dr. Sands’ judgement.

  3. My 14 yo son could be a virtual giant in A virtual covid college football season. Heck I could quit my daytime gig requiring hands on face to face patient contact and work from home as a virtual recruiter.

  4. I believe those
    In decision making positions should be asking, “what are we going to do if there is no universal vaccine”?
    Dismantle college football? I don’t think so.

    In case you weren’t aware, there is no vaccine for SARRS.
    It happens

  5. These college athletes will be pampered more than ever in the age of COVID. Let them play. They will be far safer than the general population.

  6. If the BIG10 has the mental and physical health and welfare of their student-athletes at the center of every decision they make, they should recommend that none of the student-athletes ever drive or ride in a car.

    1. If that is the case they should have banned Michigan State several years ago for employing a physician that molested numerous
      female athletes

    2. If that’s the case then we should probably ban football and all sports altogether – all of them cause long-lasting health issues (coming from a mid-40s guy who played HS sports and whose knees and shoulders are giving out!)… Kind of disingenuous for the Big10 to say they want to avoid any future risks, when the biggest future risk/certainty faced by many of these kids is arthritis and CTE, not COVID

  7. Why would decisions made by other conferences make it hard for the ACC and the SEC to play ball? There is no affiliation. Each makes its own decisions. Screw the media. They can shame and cancel all they want. It’s time for America to stand up and show some backbone.

    1. Well said, news media is garbage. Let them play if they want to assume the risk (very small risk it seems for young healthy people). Same for fans, since when can we not think for ourselves?

    2. Since the majority of football championships lately is from SEC or ACC (Clemson), don’t see why we need them.

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