Yesterday the 2020 football season was maybe -- probably -- dead. Unfortunately, today it's definitely dead.
Sources: Big Ten is announcing that the fall is cancelled. League will attempt to play in the spring.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 11, 2020
The Big Ten explained the decision further in their official statement:
“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.”
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren also spoke on the decision to cancel the fall sports season on BTN:
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren explained the decision to postpone fall sports in 2020: pic.twitter.com/NnCXQmGEZS— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 11, 2020
He was also asked what had changed for the league between last week (when revised schedules for the 2020 season were released) and now:
What changed between today and last week's schedule release?@BTNDaveRevsine asked Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren following the decision to postpone the 2020 football season: pic.twitter.com/cFIX83PPVf— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 11, 2020
A few hours after the Big Ten's decision was announced, the Pac-12 announced that they would also be cancelling their fall 2020 sports season.
While football is the 800-lb gorilla here, the decision impacts all fall sports, which means field hockey, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's soccer are also impacted. Exact decisions on what will be done with those sports (i.e., if the Big Ten will attempt to move their seasons to spring) had not yet been made.
When announcing the decision to cancel the fall 2020 football season, the possibility of playing in the spring was also raised. No details were provided about what a spring 2021 season might look like it, such as when it would be played or how long it might last. If further information becomes available, we'll pass it along.
We'll certainly have more to say about the Big Ten's decision to cancel the fall season over the next few days and weeks (not like we'll have much else to write about...), but it's certainly disappointing to know that there won't be any Iowa football to watch this fall. This whole situation really sucks.