Big Ten cancels fall sports

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Gophers coach P.J. Fleck gathered the team before the Penn State game last November.
AARON LAVINSKY • AARON.LAVINSKY@STARTRIBUNE.COM

The Big Ten Conference announced the postponement of all fall semester sports including college football on Tuesday, citing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Conference officials said the decision was made after consultations with medical experts, including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee. Postponed sports include football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and field hockey.

“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.”

The Big Ten said it will “continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring.” Officials have yet to determine whether the conference’s winter and spring sports seasons will take place as scheduled.

In a statement, Nebraska said it was “very disappointed” with the Big Ten’s decision.

“Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute safest place for our student-athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures, and the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics,” the school said. “We will continue to consult with medical experts and evaluate the situation as it emerges. We hope it may be possible for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”

Shawn Stewart is the Founder/CEO of Sports 4 America , you can find him on Twitter @Sports4Stewart