Big Ten will have conference-only season for football, fall sports
The conference announced on Thursday there will be no non-conference season and teams will play 10 league games.
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten will only be playing college football games within its conference this season. The conference will also do the same for all of its fall sports, including volleyball.
Football will play only a 10-game conference season this year, per a report by ESPN.
Of course, this is all because of the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ivy League announced on Wednesday that it will no play its fall sports season this year and no sports will be allowed to compete until at least Jan. 1 of 2021.
The Huskers season opener is scheduled to be played against a conference opponent in Purdue on Sept. 5. Nebraska was scheduled to play Central Michigan, Cincinnati and South Dakota St. in the non-conference this year. No scheduling updates have been officially announced as of yet.
Nebraska volleyball had yet to announce its schedule for this upcoming season due to the uncertainty surrounding sports in the pandemic.
In a combined statement from UNL chancellor Ronnie Green, athletic director Bill Moos and UNL president Ted Carter the trio says, “We are pleased that the Big Ten is planning to move forward with fall sports. The conference has determined a path forward that helps to mitigate risk and will allow Husker student-athletes to compete on the field and in the arena. The most important thing is the safety of our student-athletes and that of our Athletics staff and coaches, and we appreciate the thoughtful approach taken by the Big Ten. Athletics is a valuable part of campus life, and important to our community and the state of Nebraska. We are fortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been as widespread in Nebraska and look forward to safely hosting Big Ten competitions. While there are still many details left to be worked out, we are eager to safely cheer on our Husker student-athletes.”
STATEMENT FROM THE BIG TEN:
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.
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.
In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, 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.
While Big Ten member institutions continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information to establish the best protocols for voluntary workouts on their campuses, in compliance with local and state regulations, the Conference is working with the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee to finalize Conference-wide protocols.
As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.