Big Ten Votes to Postpone College Football Season Until Spring of 2021

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  • Big Ten votes in favor of postponing fall sports, including football
  • Conferences are hoping to be able to play football in the spring
  • SEC, Big 12, PAC-12, ACC likely to follow suit

Several major conferences have announced plans to play conference-only schedules when the college football season arrives later this summer. Conferences like the SEC, ACC, and PAC-12 have tried to do everything they can to move forward with football season and other sports this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the virus may ultimately win out. According to ESPN, the commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held an emergency conference call on Sunday to discuss the future of the fall sports schedule. The pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down in the United States, and a number of college football players from all over the country have unified in their calls for schools to put stringent safety measures in place.

The commissioners addressed concerns of athletes and health officials that the upcoming football season will not be played because of the virus. While no final decisions have been made among all conferences, there seems to be growing momentum for the cancelation of football and the rest of the college fall sports schedule.

Big Ten Votes Against Football

The Big Ten might be the first to make the final call. ESPN says that presidents from the 14 Big Ten schools voted 12-2 in favor of postponing all fall sports this year, including football. Big Ten officials wanted to find out whether presidents from the PAC-12, Big 12, SEC, and ACC agree. The two schools that voted in favor of proceeding with football were Nebraska and Iowa.

The Big Ten schools that voted in favor of postponing the season are holding out hope that football and other sports could be played next spring. There is hope among numerous public health officials that a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready for distribution by the end of 2020, but many are skeptical as to whether or not the vaccine will be potent enough to stop the spread of the virus altogether.

The Big Ten, which announced a conference-only schedule for football just over a month ago, is expected to announce the decision at some point on Tuesday. The conference unveiled its new 10-game schedule just last week, while team training camps opened over the weekend. Many high-profile players have decided to opt-out of playing, as well.

Other Conferences Considering Options

One Power 5 athletic director told ESPN that it “doesn’t look good” with regard to football being played this fall. Another unnamed athletic director told ESPN, “I don’t know why we are trying to push to play in the fall. It’s always made more sense to me to just play in the spring.”

Athletic directors from ACC schools met on Monday to discuss the weekend call after originally planning to meet on Tuesday. West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons told ESPN, “No one has talked about a plan if the season is canceled. If it’s canceled, we need to be able to give clear direction at that time, as opposed to saying, ‘We don’t know.'”

The Ivy League announced late last month that it will postpone all fall sports until the spring, while the University of Connecticut did the same last week. The Mid-American Conference became the first FBS conference to announce the cancelation of football over the weekend. The Power 5 conferences have been holding out hope that football will be possible, but at this point it seems likely that they will wind up following suit.

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Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.