Less than a week after the official football schedule release, the presidents of the Big Ten conference met today to discuss more about the upcoming football season. This was a regularly scheduled meeting, but with emphasis on the football season.
The biggest update is that the conference will continue with helmet-only practice until further notice. Other fall sports will continue to work with their team’s trainers and physicians about level of activity. These updates are all due to advice given by the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.
The full press release is shared below.
The Big Ten Conference announced today, based on the advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, that, until further notice, all institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice. All other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.Big Ten Official Statement
Each new phase of activity provides new intelligence and experience and allows us to evaluate the implementation of our Conference and institutional medical protocols in real-time. In order to make the right health and safety decisions for our student-athletes, we believe it is best to continue in the appropriate phase of activity referenced above while we digest and share information from each campus to ensure we are moving forward cautiously.
We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all. As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.
A spring football season remains on the table
Per sources, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren prefers deferring the fall season to spring. No official decision has been made about a postponement, but no Power 5 conferences have yet postponed their football season.
The Mid-American Conference became the first conference to cancel its fall football season due to COVID-19. They will instead pursue a spring football season per commissioner Jon Steinbrecher.
This was a health and well-being decision, first and foremost…we don’t know what this will mean financially.Jon Steinbrecher
Cover Photo: Tribune News Service