Big Ten Extends Team Activity Suspension To May

Matthew Stevens

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference has extended the suspension of all organized team activities for nearly another month.

In a move that should surprise no individual given the quarantine orders, school closings and worldwide social distancing efforts being taken due to the COVID-19 health epidemic, the league office has halted all activities until May 4. Earlier this month, the conference announced a suspension of all organized team activities for its member schools until April 6. However, since no medical experts or federal officials can determine when the spread of coronavirus will flatten in order to safely encourage public gatherings, the conference extended that suspension on Friday with the chance to re-evaluate its decision at that new May date.

This new deadline is separate from the moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting for all sports that is still in place. However, Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde has a report field Friday afternoon detailing the NCAA Enforcement Office looking into possible recruiting violations during this COVID-19 epidemic.

"The Big Ten Conference will continue to use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps relative to the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement from the Big Ten Conference office reads. "The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus."

The athletics officials at the University Illinois suspended all practices and team activities on March 12 and university officials suspended spring semester face-to-face instruction for the entire campus starting this week. 

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