CHICAGO — The Big Ten is not giving up on college football this fall just yet, but is taking a big step.
It announced on Thursday that all fall sports would only be conference games if they do play during the pandemic. Conferences are trying to figure out how to have a season this year as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise.
“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 conference said in a statement.
Indiana University and Purdue University are two Indiana schools that compete in the Big Ten.
“As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts,” the conference said. “We are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.”
The Ivy League has already announced it is calling off all fall sports.
The move does raise questions about what will happen if other conferences follow the Big Ten’s lead. Schools like the University of Notre Dame, West Point (Army), and Brigham Young University are independent in most sports.