Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten postpones football, fall sports due to COVID-19 pandemic

One day after rumors surfaced that the Big Ten would postpone the 2020 college football season and other fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference made the news official via a Tuesday statement.

Football, field hockey, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's soccer are all impacted.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren explained:

“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. 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.”

The Big Ten added that competitions could be shifted to springtime formats, and decisions on winter and spring sports will be made at later times.

The Pac-12 could follow the Big Ten and also postpone football and other fall sports. Over the weekend, the Mid-American Conference became the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to call off its fall seasons because of the uncontrolled virus outbreak.

The Mountain West postponed seasons on Monday.

Also on Monday, Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Scott Frost told reporters he's willing for his program to play outside of the Big Ten this fall. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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