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Tuesday Live Blog: Big Ten to Cancel Fall Football Season, Planning to Play in Spring

The Big Ten is expected to announce its decision on Tuesday regarding playing college football in the fall or moving it to the spring.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Big Ten has officially cancelled its 2020 fall football season.

The Big Ten is reportedly hoping to play its season in the spring. The Big Ten is the first Power 5 conference to make a decision about football.

View statement from Indiana head coach Tom Allen below:

“My heart breaks for our players. I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment and focus they have demonstrated from the start of this pandemic. They put in the work to get ready for a season. I love each and every one of them, and we will continue to support them and prepare them for what the future holds.

Our coaching staff has been phenomenal. I appreciate their tireless efforts these last six months. I couldn’t be prouder to work with these men and our team is in great hands.

I want to thank President McRobbie, Scott Dolson, our administration and our medical staff for keeping our players safe. Our number one priority always has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of our players.

While this is a difficult day, the decision is in the best interest of our players. The future is bright for Indiana Football and we will continue the RELENTLESS pursuit of our goals. LEO!”

View statement from Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson below:

“I am heartbroken by today’s news of the postponement of the Big Ten fall sports schedule. As a lifelong Hoosier and IU sports fan I am disappointed that we won’t be able to enjoy seeing our teams compete, but I am most devastated for our students. They invest an enormous amount of time, effort, and energy for the opportunity to represent IU on the field. But as difficult as it is to absorb, I am confident it is the right decision. Throughout this process, the Big Ten Conference has made the health and safety of our students, staffs, and communities the No. 1 concern and priority. Today, our medical experts believe it is not currently safe to take the next step to participating in intercollegiate competitions. I continue to appreciate Commissioner Kevin Warren for his leadership and guidance through these unprecedented times. We will continue to focus on the development of our students academically, athletically, and personally as we move forward.”

View the Big Ten's statement below:

The Big Ten Conference announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.

“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.

“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 fall sports included in this announcement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring. Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated. 

The Big Ten Conference is proud of its 14 world-class research institutions and has leveraged their resources and expertise to address this pandemic over the past five months. The Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee have engaged in extensive research and sharing of materials and conversations with federal, state and local government agencies, and professional and international sports organizations in order to track and better understand the daily updates surrounding this pandemic. Their advice and counsel have been invaluable as they have worked tirelessly over the past several months in their efforts to create and maintain a safe environment for athletics.

The Big Ten Conference will continue to work with medical experts and governmental authorities to gather additional information, evaluate emerging data and technologies, and monitor developments regarding the pandemic to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes.

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The latest: Big Ten expected to announce season is postponed

UPDATED 2:45 p.m. — Bruce Feldman tweeted that the Big Ten's presidents have voted to postpone the 2020 college football season with hopes of playing in the spring.

The announcement is expected to come from the Big Ten at 3 p.m. eastern.  

James Franklin joins ESPN's "Get Up" to discuss his desire to play, options for delayed season

11:30 a.m. ET — Penn State coach James Franklin put out a statement yesterday on Twitter imploring the Big Ten to continue to evaluate things before making a decision.

On Tuesday, Franklin joined ESPN's "Get Up" to talk about his reasoning for that.

"You're coming up with these other models, so when we say, 'OK, we are playing college football or we aren't playing college football,' that now we can list out what our plan is for the future," Franklin said.

Franklin also discussed that if the Big Ten pushes the season back a little bit, they have resources to combat the weather if it's played in the winter.

"We have the ability to use the domes in the Big Ten," Franklin said. "We could use the domes in Detroit, in Minnesota and Indianapolis and do Big Ten weekends at those venues from a weather perspective."

Big Ten presidents expected to meet at 10:30 a.m. to make decision

10:30 a.m. ET — The Big Ten's presidents were expected to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning to discuss its decision on college football this fall, as first reported by ESPN's Heather Dinich.

In Dinich's report, it said the Big Ten might consider pushing back its start date to Sept. 26. Most of the Power 5 conferences already have their schedules beginning around that time, so the Big Ten was the only one starting in early September.

"Although they are still considering becoming the first FBS conference to postpone fall sports, the majority of their athletic directors aren't ready to 'pull the plug,' the source said."

There has been no reveal on the Big Ten's meeting or decision yet, but it's possible the result could just be delaying the final decision.

Whop Philyor officially endorses #WeWantToPlay movement

Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor has been very vocal about wanting to play this season. 

When he met with the Indiana media last week, Philyor said he felt like the "Tasmanian Devil" being trapped in quarantine and he was ready to get out and play.

Philyor joined the movement among college football players, tweeting #WeWantToPlay and #WeWantASeason with the graphic stating the athletes' desires to play this season.