Big Ten, Pac-12 Officially Cancel 2020 Season, Big 12 Holding Meetings This Afternoon
It was just six days ago that the Big Ten released its full schedule for the 2020 season. Now, the first Power 5 domino fell Tuesday afternoon when the conference announced it would be postponing the start of fall sports, including football. The hope is for the conference to hold a spring season.
The conference released a statement after the historic decision to postpone the season.
“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."
As of now, 53 of the 130 FBS college programs will not be participating in any sports this fall.
Now the attention turns to the Pac-12 and Big 12, who both had meetings Tuesday afternoon to decide on the future of the 2020 season. It's been reported by Sports Illustrated that the Pac-12 would follow in the footsteps of the Big Ten while the Big 12 was more on the fence on whether to delay the start of the season or outright cancel it.
The decision out of the Big 12 could ultimately decide which way the SEC leans as it would mean three of the Power 5 conferences would announce a cancellation, with the SEC and ACC remaining.
Nebraska became the first Big Ten program to release a statement after the news was announced by the conference.
Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger reports that the Pac-12 will indeed follow in the Big Ten's footsteps and cancel the fall season. This was the expected move and now all eyes are on the Big 12.
Like the Big Ten, the Pac-12 hopes to resume play in the spring. Scholarships of the athletes will be held in both conferences.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”
"I’d keep in mind we haven’t made final, final decisions — there is still some time — but we’ve set a start date," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on Tuesday. "I’d be encouraged by that if I’m a college football fan. We announced opponents. I’d be encouraged by that. We have some medical care guidelines. That’s encouraging. We’re still today. On Sunday, it was all over if I read social media, but we’re still here."
Follow along for updates throughout the afternoon as updates are provided on the Pac-12 and Big 12 meetings