Big Ten: Fall sports schedules to be conference-only

Student-athletes can retain scholarships, team standing if abstaining from play because of COVID-19 concerns
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 3:28 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Big Ten Conference on Thursday announced that fall sports schedules would be limited to others in the conference, should games be allowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to football, the announcement impacts schedules for women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, and men’s and women’s soccer, according to the Big Ten statement.

“This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee,” the statement says.

Summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary, according to the statement. The conference will also continue to honor scholarships for student-athletes who choose not to participate at any time during the summer or upcoming academic year due to concerns about COVID-19, and allow them to remain in good standing with their team.

University of Nebraska officials issued a response following the announcement. The statement from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter, and Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos reads:

“We are pleased that the Big Ten is planning to move forward with fall sports. The conference has determined a path forward that helps to mitigate risk and will allow Husker student-athletes to compete on the field and in the arena. The most important thing is the safety of our student-athletes and that of our Athletics staff and coaches, and we appreciate the thoughtful approach taken by the Big Ten. Athletics is a valuable part of campus life, and important to our community and the state of Nebraska. We are fortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been as widespread in Nebraska and look forward to safely hosting Big Ten competitions. While there are still many details left to be worked out, we are eager to safely cheer on our Husker student-athletes.”

The NCAA approved the preseason plan for Division I football in June.

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