The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday it will cut non-conference games for all fall sports, including football, amid “unprecedented times” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Big Ten said in a statement, “We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority… By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.”
The Big Ten becomes the first Power 5 conference to move to a conference-only schedule this fall. The Ivy League on Wednesday ruled out playing fall sports this year, but the conference has yet to make a decision on whether fall teams could play in the spring next year. Other sports impacted include men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s volleyball.
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