The Big Ten announced on Saturday the postponement of football practices with pads to deter contact and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
In a planned meeting, the conference decided to remain in the first two days of the acclimatization period for football.
In plain English, the conference voted to keep college football practices in a phase where athletes may only wear helmets.
The decision comes hours after the Mid-American Conference postponed all fall sports, including football. As a hub for college football-crazed fanatics and midweek NCAA action, the MAC became the first conference to opt out of playing any sports this fall. Instead, they're focusing efforts on moving those sports to the fall.
With growing momentum towards finding a way to play fall sports in the spring, the Big Ten's latest steps seem to indicate its hesitancy in becoming the first Power 5 conference to follow the MAC.
"We understand there are many questions regarding how this impacts schedules, as well as the feasibility of proceeding forward with the season at all," the Big Ten statement read. "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."
As the Maryland Terrapins held their first day of training camp yesterday with masked coaches and padless players, this will have to continue to be the new norm for now.
The sights and sounds of football 😍— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) August 8, 2020
We are back! pic.twitter.com/K9y83u5rXZ
Today's decision also comes three days after the conference announced complete medical protocols for all fall sports and plans for the football season to include a 10-game conference-only schedule with one cross-division game.
With the first set of games slated for Sept. 5, it will be interesting to see if the momentum builds enough to eventually postpone the season entirely. Some reporters are being told the combination of the unknowns surrounding the long-term impact of coronavirus and the MAC's decision to forgo the fall that the season is already over.
Prominent industry source: "I think by the end of the week the fall sports will be postponed in all conferences."— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) August 8, 2020
Power 5 source to @Stadium: “College football season is done. I don’t think everyone immediately follows MAC, but it gives other league presidents 1 more reason to make an easier decision. Biggest thing is unknown long-term impact of COVID & liability issues involved"— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 8, 2020
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