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Big Ten to play conference-only schedule for all fall sports in 2020

Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass during the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Tigers defeated the Buckeyes 29-23. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Big Ten announced Thursday that it will play a conference-only schedule for its fall sports in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported that multiple industry sources expected a similar decision from the Pac-12 in the coming days.

The Big Ten’s move could have an impact on other conferences including the Pac-12, which houses both Arizona State and Arizona athletics. The Big Ten’s Ohio State, for example, had a non-conference game scheduled at Pac-12 Oregon on Sept. 12. Now, it appears that game won’t happen.

“Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team,” a statement from the Big Ten said.

The Big Ten’s member schools are Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue.

The Ivy League on Wednesday became the first Division I conference to suspend all fall sports, including football, leaving open the possibility of moving some seasons to the spring if the coronavirus pandemic is better controlled by then.

“We simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletic competition that meets our requirements for safety and acceptable levels of risk,” the Ivy League Council of Presidents said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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