The Big Ten voted Tuesday to pull the plug on fall sports at all of their schools with a statement from commissioner Kevin Warren that pointed to player safety.
Shortly after, their little brother, the Pac 12 did the same thing, voting to cancel fall sports and will look at options to play in the spring, sources told ESPN.
Stadium first reported the news.
The conference has a webinar scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CDT to discuss the decision that will include conference commissioner Larry Scott, CEO group chair and Oregon president Michael Schill, Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson and Oregon State senior associate athletic director for sports medicine Dr. Doug Aukerman.
“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” the Big Ten’s Warren said in a statement. “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.
“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”
It will be interesting to see how coaches like Nebraska’s Scott Frost react after he said the Cornhuskers would play anywhere.
Frost on Monday said his program is prepared “to look at any and all options” in order to play this fall, on Tuesday issued a joint statement saying “we are very disappointed in the decision by the Big Ten.”
“We have been and continue to be ready to play,” the Nebraska joint statement said. “Safety comes first. Based on the conversations with our medical experts, we continue to strongly believe the absolute safest place for our student athletes is within the rigorous safety protocols, testing procedures, and the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics.
“… We hope it may be possible for our student athletes to have the opportunity to compete.”
If the Pac 12 follows along, as expected, you have to wonder if Nebraska and Colorado figure it’s time to re-think their decisions to leave the Big 12 a few years ago.
Nebraska and the @Big12Conference door may in fact be opening.
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) August 11, 2020