Reports: Big Ten Considers Canceling Fall Football Season

Aug 10, 2020
Originally published on August 11, 2020 8:07 am

The Ohio State University might not be playing football this fall after all.

Even as universities begin inviting students back to campus, the Big Ten Conference was reportedly scheduled to vote Monday night to cancel the upcoming football season, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"The Big Ten is expected to cancel the 2020 college football season in a historic move that stems from concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple people with knowledge of the decision told the Free Press," the newspaper reported.

The Free Press later quoted a Big Ten spokesperson as saying not vote had taken place by Monday evening, but the newspaper reports the conference is still planning to announce the news on Tuesday. It's unclear if a spring football season is under consideration.

Ohio State declined to comment. The football team practiced Monday morning.

Following news of the Big Ten's likely decision, President Trump weighed in with his disapproval. "The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Several Ohio State players, including quarterback Justin Fields, tweeted their desire to play the fall season. Head coach Ryan Day also threw his support behind playing: "Swinging as hard as we possibly can right now for these players!! This isn't over!"

The Big Ten announced last month that member schools would only play games in-conference "if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports." Under a schedule released last week, Ohio State would have started its shortened 10-game season against Illinois on September 3.

The season also would push the annual University of Michigan rival game up to October 24, marking the first time since 1942 that Ohio State didn't end its regular season against Michigan. Ohio State also planned to limit home game capacity at Ohio Stadium to 20% and require attendees to wear face coverings.

The Big Ten planned to require all sports to test for COVID-19 at least once a week, with football being required to test twice a week. Anyone who tested positive but was asymptomatic would be required to isolate for at least 10 days, while those who have close contact with someone who tests positive must self-quarantine for two weeks.

Ohio State has not disclosed how many student-athletes have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Saturday, the Mid-American Conference – which includes the University of Akron, Ohio University, Kent State University, University of Toledo, Bowling Green and Miami University – voted to postpone the entire fall sports season

In July, the North Coast Athletic Conference suspended all athletic competitions between schools through the rest of 2020, affecting Kenyon, Denison, Oberlin, Wittenberg, Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan.

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