Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Big Ten, Pac-12 Postpone Football until Spring

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Two Power 5 conference teams have made the decision to postpone fall sports until the spring. The Big Ten and Pac 12 made the announcement on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The PAC-12 followed the Big Ten’s lead as presidents and chancellors voted to postpone.

The Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement released by the Big Ten that it was best to postpone football close to only a week after releasing the conference schedule.

“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,” Warren said. “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… 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,” said Warren. 

The ACC, Big-12 and the SEC remain focused on playing football.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey spoke with national radio host Dan Patrick on Tuesday about the league playing football in the fall. If the other Power 5 conferences decide to move their seasons to the spring, it’s unlikely for the SEC to play.

“I don’t think that it is the right direction, really,” Sankey said. “Could we? Certainly. There’s a difference between can you do something and should you do something in life.”

“Every day we learn a little bit more,” Sankey said. It is not going to be a guiding moment if another conference makes a decision, but a piece of information along the way…on this really interesting journey.”