Big East Cancels Fall Sports, Hopes to Play in Spring

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Big East basketball teams will wear Black Lives Matter patches during the 2020-21 season.

A day after the Pac-12 and Big Ten canceled their fall sports, the Big East followed suit by announcing it would not hold fall sports in 2020.

“Due to the unprecedented and continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big East Conference and its member institutions have announced that fall sports competition will not be conducted in 2020,” the statement read. “The conference will assess alternative options to stage fall sports contests during the spring of 2021.”

Big East schools do not compete in football at the FBS level. Three field FCS teams (Georgetown, Villanova and Butler), though compete in other conferences.

The sports impacted by the Big East's decision are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey. Men's and women's basketball will be unaffected.

“This very difficult decision came after an exhaustive review by our Presidents and Athletics Directors and followed consideration of NCAA guidance, COVID-19 case counts and trend lines nationally and in Big East communities, and the many unknowns surrounding testing availability, turnaround time and travel restrictions in our 11 locales,” said Big East commissioner Val Ackerman. “We take pride in the high-level competition and experiences we provide to our fall sports student-athletes, and we share their deep disappointment that this will not be a normal year. Our plans for men’s and women’s basketball and other sports are unaffected at this time.”

During the time period that would have covered the fall sports season, Big East athletes still will be allowed to practice, participate in strength and conditioning workouts, and attend team meetings while following health and safety protocols consistent with campus policies, public health guidelines and NCAA and conference regulations.