As we all sit around watching the NCAA and its member conferences rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by announcing new conference-only schedules and setting return dates for practice, the B1G held a meeting of the conference presidents to discuss the viability of football, and all fall sports, being played.
The B1G released a statement Saturday morning that said teams will not be allowed to practice with pads on yet:
The Big Ten Conference announced today, based on the advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, that, until further notice, all institutions will remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period in football (i.e., helmets shall be the only piece of protective equipment student-athletes may wear) as we continue to transition prudently through preseason practice.
They statement went on to say that “all other fall sports will continue to work locally with team physicians and athletic trainers to adjust practices to the appropriate level of activity, as necessary, based on current medical protocols.”
News: The Big Ten announces that it will not progress to padded football practices, which is known as "Day 3" of the acclimatization practice period. (They will be able to practice in helmets.) The league wants further evaluation before it progresses to full-contact practices.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 8, 2020
“We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all. As we have consistently stated, we will continue to evaluate daily, while relying on our medical experts, to make the best decisions possible for the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes,” the statement ended.
Pete Thamel, of Yahoo! Sports, posted an interview that he conducted with UW athletic director Barry Alvarez where the Wisconsin Badgers legend said, “I’m afraid. There’s so many questions that are unanswered. I see things change every day. We have so much invested. I have a grandson playing. I’m invested in every student-athlete on our campus. I want them to be safe.”
Alvarez goes on to discuss the good job that B1G commissioner Kevin Warren is doing in his first year on the job and he remarks that the decisions about whether or not to play can’t be left up to administrators like him.
“To me, you have to go back to your specialists,” Alvarez said. “You go back to the people who know the business. You go back to the doctors. That’s their business. I want to hear what people who are in that business say. I want them to give us direction. Is it safe? Is it not safe? It’s not what one of us [coaches or administrators] thinks.”
Reports on Saturday morning from the Detroit Free Press note that Warren “prefers a spring football season” but that nothing has been finalized.
On Saturday morning the MAC announced that they would be cancelling their fall football season, the first FBS conference to do so although FBS independent UConn cancelled their season earlier this week.
We will keep this post updated as more news becomes available.