Big Ten Presidents Reportedly Vote to Cancel 2020 Football Season
If you know a fan of any Big Ten football program, you may want to check on them and see how they're doing after a report has surfaced saying the conference would not be taking the field for the upcoming season.
The Detroit Free Press was the first to announce the news, citing multiple sources who "requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly" that the 14 presidents who represent the universities in the conference voted 12-2 in favor of cancelling the upcoming season due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big Ten has yet to formally announce that decision, however those same source say a statement regarding the vote is expected to be released sometime tomorrow (Tuesday, August 21st, 2020).
The Big Ten is not the first conference to cancel the upcoming season. The Ivy League, which includes schools like Yale and Harvard, announced in early July they were cancelling all fall sports due to the pandemic, and on Saturday, the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC), which includes Ball State in Muncie, announced on Saturday they would not put players on the field this season either.
Of those three conferences, the Big Ten is the biggest to date making the decision not to play. As one of the "Power 5" conferences, time will tell if their decision will create a domino effect and lead to the remaining Power 5 conferences (SEC, PAC-12, Big 12, and ACC) making the same decision.
What is also unknown at this time is whether or not there's a possibility of the season begin pushed to the spring. When the Ivy League announced their decision, the conference said they were hoping that would be possible, but would not set a specific date. The MAC, on the other hand, said it does intend to move football to the spring, but did not provide any specifics.
My question is, if the other conferences follow suit and decide to not play in the fall, will we see a trickle down effect when it comes to high school football in the Tri-State. Illinois has already postponed their season to the spring, and Kentucky has pushed their start date back to the second weekend of September, while Indiana maintains the season will begin as scheduled at this time. As the father of a sophomore who not only plays, but loves the game, I'd hate to see him lose an entire season. With that said, if COVID trends go in the wrong direction in Indiana, and the IHSAA has to reverse course and make the decision to cancel, I will understand, although he may not. You can't be too cautious at this point in time, and the health and safety of the players, including my son, is far more important than a game.
Time will tell, I suppose.