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Big Ten Pauses Progress To Padded Practices

Teams must remain in helmets only for workouts.

The Big Ten announced on Saturday that football practices will not progress to full contact for the time being.

Most Big Ten teams, including Iowa, opened practice on Friday in helmets only, and would be transitioning over to pads after the first two days.

The conference put a hold on that Saturday morning.

The conference's statement:

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"The Big Ten Conference announced today, based on the advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, that, until further notice, all institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice. All other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.

"Each new phase of activity provides new intelligence and experience and allows us to evaluate the implementation of our Conference and institutional medical protocols in real-time. In order to make the right health and safety decisions for our student-athletes, we believe it is best to continue in the appropriate phase of activity referenced above while we digest and share information from each campus to ensure we are moving forward cautiously.

"We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all. As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes."

The conference earlier this week announced its 10-game league-only schedule, with Iowa set to opening play on Sept. 5 against Maryland at Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa announced on Thursday that attendance at home games would be limited to 10,000-15,000 fans.