Big 10 cancels fall football season, other conferences could follow

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Big Ten announced on Tuesday they have postponed the 2020 football season and will look at trying to play in the spring, according to multiple reports.

This news comes a day after reports about the conference university presidents voted 12-2 to end the season.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Ten felt like it was unsafe to play. Monday, multiple players and coaches of the Big Ten, including Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost voiced their opinions on the conference’s possible actions.

The SEC and commissioner Greg Sankey have stood firm on their stance to continue moving forward with the plan they’ve put in place to begin football on September 26th.

Arkansas Athletics Director Hunter Yurachek, along with football head coach Sam Pittman have supported the #wewanttoplay movement started by the student-athletes about the 2020 football season.

On Sunday, Big 12 commissioners cited “growing evidence and the growing pool of data around myocarditis” as a reason for a potential cancellation.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart, and it has been found in some COVID-19 patients. There is concern it could be a long-term complication of contracting the virus even in young, healthy people, a group that has usually avoided severe cardiovascular symptoms.

The final call on whether major college football will be played this season rests in the hands of the university presidents who oversee the other largest conferences.

All this activity comes days after the Mid-American Conference became the first among 10 leagues that play at the highest tier of Division I college football to cancel fall sports because of concerns about keeping athletes from contracting and spreading COVID-19.

The MAC’s decision came less than a month before the first games are scheduled to be played and raised questions about whether other conferences might follow.

Meanwhile, college football players took to social media to push for a season, led by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with a series of tweets.

“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” Lawrence tweeted. “Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.”

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth had a similar message.

“Since day one coming back to campus the Penn State Football staff and medical experts have put our health and safety first, above anything else,” he tweeted. “The guidelines put into place keep us safe while playing the game we love. We are ready to play and we want to play.”

Other players tweeted with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, and within a few hours that movement merged with another.

President Trump weighed in on Monday encouraging universities to go ahead with the football season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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