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ESPN: Big Ten close to postponing or canceling football, fall sports

ESPN: Big Ten close to postponing or canceling football, fall sports

  • Updated

The writing is on the wall for the college football season.

An ESPN report published Sunday evening said the commissioners of the Power Five conferences — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss postponing or canceling the football season due to COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ESPN sources, the Big Ten is on the verge of pulling the plug on plans to play football this fall. Big Ten presidents met Saturday to discuss the viability of playing football this fall. No vote was taken on moving or canceling the football season, but Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel tweeted Sunday that Big Ten presidents and chancellors are speaking Sunday night about the future of the fall sports season.

The University of Wisconsin football team is scheduled to open its training camp Monday.

Despite programs’ best efforts to contain the spread of the virus on campuses, playing sports this fall appears to be too difficult a challenge. The Badgers released updated COVID-19 testing numbers Thursday, stating 21 of 259 student-athletes have tested positive since they began returning to campus in early June.

Rutgers is dealing with an outbreak with nearly 30 football players and staffers, and a total of six programs have paused voluntary workouts due to positive COVID-19 cases.

A number of the Big Ten's top players have announced they've opted out of the season. 

The MAC on Saturday became the first FBS conference to postpone the football season, and it will attempt to hold a spring season.

Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier — the former deputy AD at UW — said that concerns of long-term effects of the virus were a major factor in the MAC decision.

Tracking the Big Ten players who have opted out of the 2020 season

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