Big Ten moves to conference-only model for all fall sports

Big Ten moves to conference-only model for all fall sports
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The Big Ten Conference concluded that a conference-only season for all fall season sports, including football, would be the likely route for leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released Thursday.

"The Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports ... based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports," the Division I NCAA conference published.

Big Ten added that the conference is prepared to not play to ensure athletes' health and wellness in the event of unprecedented circumstances.

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Sports currently eligible for participation in Big Ten Conference games include: men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball.

The Big Ten said it would announce details about the approved sports later, adding that any sports not listed would continue to be evaluated before a final call is made on whether they can resume this fall.

The decision was made based on "limiting the competition to other Big Ten institutions," thereby providing better flexibility to adjust and make quick decisions amid evolving medical advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

The conference added that summer athletic activities would remain voluntary in every sport that is permitted to engage in activities. Anyone who does not participate during the summer and the 2020-21 academic year will have their scholarships honored and maintain good team standing.

The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, directors of Athletics, and Conference Office staff worked alongside medical experts of the conference's task force for emerging infectious diseases for several months to determine the route for the fall semester.

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Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill GOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe On The Money: Unemployment debate sparks GOP divisions | Pandemic reveals flaws of unemployment insurance programs | Survey finds nearly one-third of rehired workers laid off again MORE (R-Iowa) voiced his frustration over the Big Ten's decision on Thursday, specifically over the news that a game between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Hawkeyes would not take place this year.

"Very disappointed by the Big Ten making a decision that non conference games can’t be played Don’t they realize the Cy-Hawk game is a lot more interesting than many big ten games?? Especially disappointed Iowa can’t play MY UNIVERSITY uni BIG DISAPPOINTMENT," Grassley tweeted.