NCAA

Big Ten postpones contact practices for football, MAC postpones fall sports

NCAA

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. 

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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. 

 

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. 

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