Big Ten postpones 2020-21 fall sports season

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said there was too much uncertainty concerning potential medical risks to allow competition to occur.
Photo by WikimediaBig Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said there was too much uncertainty concerning potential medical risks to allow competition to occur.

The Big Ten is postponing the 2020-21 fall sports season due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to a press release. Sports included in the postponement are men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, according to the release.

The conference will continue to evaluate the possibility of fall sports competition in the spring and decisions on the 2020-21 winter sports and 2021 spring sports seasons, according to the release.

“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, according to the release.

The conference will continue to work with medical experts and governmental authorities to collect additional information, evaluate emerging data and technologies and monitor pandemic-related developments, according to the release.

“Although athletic competition will be paused for some time, I am confident that our student-athletes remain committed to achieving greatness in the classroom and leaving a lasting impact on their communities,” said Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs, according to a letter. “We will weather the challenges ahead together, remain diligent in our pursuit of excellence and display the pride and resilience that makes us Jersey!”

Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway also released an email statement regarding the postponement of the fall sports season.

"Our first and highest concern is the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our entire community. The conference made the right decision to postpone the 2020 fall athletic season. No one is more disappointed than we are to see a delay in a season with such great promise for Rutgers, but it was the only decision to make in the face of the global pandemic," he said.