There won't be Big Ten football this fall, but the conference hopes the season will happen later.
The Big Ten announced Tuesday the postponement of the 2020 fall sports season - including all regular-season contests, championship games, and conference tournaments - and said it's evaluating the possibility of moving the slate to the spring.
"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," Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. "After hours of discussion ... 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."
The fall sports affected are football, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball. "Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated," the Big Ten's statement said.
The University of Nebraska expressed its disappointment with the decision through a statement shortly after the Big Ten made its announcement. The Cornhuskers maintain that they're ready to play football in the fall.
"We are very disappointed in the decision by the Big Ten Conference to postpone the fall football season, as we have been and continue to be ready to play," the statement reads. "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."
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said Monday the school wanted to play a Big Ten schedule, but it was also considering options outside the conference.
The Big Ten is the first Power 5 conference to cancel its fall season. Although multiple Big Ten head coaches recently supported playing the 2020 campaign amid the pandemic, several players opted out of the season, including potential 2021 first-round prospects such as Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman.