Just a few days after the Big Ten released the 2020 conference football schedule there are new notable developments that could delay the start of the season.
On Saturday morning the Big Ten announced that there will be an “acclimatization period” during training camp, which means there will be no padded practices until further notice. There were also multiple reports about the fall season potentially being cancelled. Here’s a look at all the important reports to this point on Saturday.
- Big Ten on delaying padded practices: “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.”
- Big Ten presidents meeting today: Per Yahoo Sports Pete Thamel, Big Ten presidents will be meeting today, “All options are on the table,” Thamel said on Twitter. “There’s some presidential momentum for canceling the fall football season. It’s unknown if there’s enough support to make that decision today.” Thamel noted that this isn’t an emergency meeting, it was an already scheduled one.
- Chryst cancels practices until Monday: Paul Chryst, Wisconsin’s head coach, said players have a lot of questions and they’re cancelling practices until Monday, per Thamel.
- Concern about training camp without a season: Some teams sound reluctant to have practices if there won’t be games being played in the next month.
- A few programs are leaning towards cancelling? “There’s a few schools whose leadership has arrived at cancelling”, Thamel said. He didn’t note what programs they are nor did he specify why they’re reaching that conclusion.
- Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren prefers spring season: Detroit Free Press reporter David Jesse said that two sources said Warren prefers a spring schedule but that no decision has been made. Further, there’s no information on what a spring schedule would look like.
None of these reports from Thamel, the Detroit Free Press, nor the Big Ten delaying padded practices are positive developments, but they’re not a final nail in the coffin for a fall season. It’s also important to note that these are just reports, with none of Thamel’s claims being confirmed by the B1G just yet (although Thamel is well connected and doesn’t swing and miss much with his reporting). There hasn’t been any new developments on the coronavirus front in the past few days that would fundamentally change the Big Ten’s intention of playing games in September. When the Big Ten released the conference schedule it was already known that Rutgers had 28 positive cases, the most notable COVID-19 spread at a Big Ten program to this point. Not enough days have went by from going to a schedule release to a cancelled season. The situation is relatively the same as it was three days ago.
We will continue to monitor these developments, as there are surely more to follow in the coming days, or hours.