Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Big Ten announces conference-only season for fall sports

July 9, 2020
<p>Spartan Stadium photographed on Aug. 23, 2019. </p>

Spartan Stadium photographed on Aug. 23, 2019.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Big Ten fall sports will operate on a conference-only schedule this season, according to a statement from the Big Ten released on Thursday afternoon.

Football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball are among the sports whose schedules will undergo the change.

"If the Conference is able to participate in fall sports, based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules," the Big Ten said in their statement, acknowledging the remaining possibility of a postponement.

"As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate," the statement said.

The announcement comes just one day after the Ivy League announced their cancellation of all fall sports competition. The Big Ten's decision is expected to be just another domino to fall as the fall sports season nears closer.

For MSU football, it hinders their Sept. 12 road trip to BYU as well as home games against Toledo and Miami, the latter of which was scheduled as being the Spartans' homecoming game. 

MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman released a statement later in the day regarding the announcement.

"Throughout the Big Ten Conference, across every institution, the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans remains our number one priority. Today's decision is based on medical advice, and provides the flexibility to adjust as needed based on the most up-to-date information. Although there are more decisions to be made we look forward to continue working with the Big Ten Conference and the member institutions in hoping to be able to provide our student-athletes the best possible experience," Beekman's statement read.

The conference also announced that summer athletic activities will be voluntary and those students who may choose not to participate during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns over COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution.

MSU's football schedule has been removed from their website and now is listed as "TBA."

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