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Big Ten postpones 2020 football season

There will be no Penn State football – this fall, that is.

The Big Ten has postponed its entire fall sports calendar – including football – with a possible move to spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several media outlets reported the news, which was confirmed by the Big Ten Network at 3 p.m. EST today. That was followed by a conference statement. Conference presidents and chancellors held a teleconference on Tuesday morning that lasted until midway through the afternoon.

“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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.”

In addition to football, the postponement affects men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. According to the Big Ten’s statement, the conference “will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring.”

The winter and spring sports season will continue to be evaluated.

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