After a meeting of school presidents, the BIG10 has decided to sideline their 2020 season amid concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Detroit Free Press has learned. The schools are waiting to make a decision after coordinating with other Power Five conferences.
The move will no doubt send shockwaves through the college football landscape. After the announcement, it is unclear what will happen to athletes on scholarships.
Hope still remains that the season will be postponed until Spring of 2021.
The BIG10 presidents voted 12-2 in favor of ending fall sports, with only Nebraska and Iowa the two lone schools voting to play the 2020 season. Other schools like Michigan and Michigan State, who has physicians as presidents, opted to vote with their conscience. This vote is very telling of the state of college football in 2020, especially after players began opting out.
Marcel Lewis, a linebacker at Michigan State, opted out due to the loss of a family member to the virus. Offensive lineman Justin Stevens opted out due to a respiratory condition that makes him high-risk. Other BIG10 players including Minnesota wideout Rashod Bateman, who was one of the top-ranked wideouts going into the season, have also opted-out.
Other players, like Brady Feeney have seen how badly the virus can hit their own bodies. Feeney is currently suffering from COVID-19 related heart issues.
“Covid-19 is serious,” Brady Feeney wrote in a series of tweets. “I never thought that I would have serious health complications from this virus, but look at what happened.”
The BIG10 news also comes on the heels of the Mid-American Conference’s decision to cancel their season. The announced lack of MACtion in 2020 marked the first conference in the FBS to move and address concerns over playing college football in the midst of a global pandemic.
As the cases in the US continue to rise, the Mid-Atlantic and BIG10 conferences might be the first to cancel their football seasons, but it appears that they are far from the last.
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