The Big Ten has officially postponed all fall sports, including football, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference announced the decision in a statement on Tuesday, but left the door open for the fall sports to be played next spring.
“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.
“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,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “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. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. 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.”
In addition to football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and women’s volleyball seasons were postponed.
“The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring,” the conference said in the statement. “Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.”
RELATED: Notre Dame will play for ACC conference championship in 2020 football season
SUBSCRIBE TO THE SPORTS UNCOVERED PODCAST FOR FREE.
Jalen Green is ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class by ESPN and had his list of schools narrowed down to powerhouse programs such as Memphis, Oregon, and Auburn. On Thursday he announced he was bypassing NCAA basketball and choosing to enter the NBA G League professional pathway program.
Through the program, elite amateur talent will be able to turn pro and be paid a salary that sources say can approach north of $500,000. Prospects entering the program will also get special one-on-one training outside of the normal G League team structure and in Green's case — according to reporting from Yahoo's Chris Haynes — a full-ride scholarship so he can finish his college education out whenever he chooses to do so.
The decision by Green to enter this new-look version of the G League pathway program is sure to have large ripple effects. Darius Bazely entered an older version of the program in 2018 when he planned to play in the G League before entering the 2019 NBA Draft. Bazely eventually changed his mind and sat out of basketball entirely before being drafted in the 1st round in 2019 by the Utah Jazz.
The Windy City Bulls dealt with a similar matter of developing an elite young prospect when Bol Bol spent eight games with the Wind City Bulls in the 2019-20 G League season while on assignment with the Denver Nuggets. But Green and prospects in the pathway program won't deal with that same developmental issue, as a new squad is being created to help.
The G League is creating a special "Select Team," that will be based in Southern California and play a more limited schedule. The G League also landed a commitment from fellow top high school prospect Isaiah Todd, who de-committed from Michigan to join the NBA G League pathway program (and Green's team) as well. It has not yet been reported if Todd's compensation will be in the same tier as Green's salary.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Art 19
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.
When Ian Mitchell announced he was returning to college for his junior season, the city of Chicago held its breath and wondered what this could mean for his future with the Blackhawks. But fans can officially exhale.
The Blackhawks have officially agreed to terms with Mitchell on a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Monday. The start date and average annual value of the contract have yet to be determined.
Drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (No. 57 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Mitchell spent the past three seasons at the University of Denver, where he captained the Pioneers this season and set a career high in goals (10) and points (32) through 36 games. His goal was to help bring a national championship back to Denver, but the NCAA's season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 21-year-old defenseman is expected to compete for a full-time roster spot next season, though it's unclear where exactly he could fit in given the crowded group. The Blackhawks think very highly of Mitchell and selfishly hoped he could've been part of the mix this past season. But they're excited to have him now.
"He dominated the games I saw at Denver this year," GM Stan Bowman said in January. "He's such a good skater, very involved in the play. He does a little bit of everything for that team as their captain. I think it bodes well how he's going to transition to the NHL. I think his game lines up exactly how we want to play. He's a fun player to watch.
"I wish he was here now, but I understand being captain of your team, you want to go back and try to win the championship of the NCAAs. We wish them well. Whenever that time's right, we're going to be looking to bring him here."
The time has finally arrived.
Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.